Harlequins lock James Horwill to quit professional rugby at end of season

James Horwill has played 62 Tests for Australia
James Horwill has played 62 Tests for Australia

Australia international James Horwill has announced that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of the ongoing season.

Horwill started his career with National Rugby Championship Brisbane City and featured for Super Rugby side Queensland Reds between 2006 and 2015 before shifting to Harlequins.

During his time with the Quins, he captained them in two seasons and overall has made 66 appearances for the Twickenham Stoop outfit including 55 games in the Premiership.

In a statement released by Harlequins official website, the 33-year-old confirmed the news on his retirement.

“I have given this great game everything I have, and I feel I can no longer give what is needed to play at this elite level.

“Rugby has been a big part of my life for many years; never in my wildest dreams would I have envisaged the incredible journey it has taken me on.

“I’ve had the privilege and honour to not only play, but captain my State, Country and Club, Harlequins, on a number of occasions over my 14-year career.

“Winning the Super Rugby title at the Queensland Reds and being asked to captain my Country are just some of the moments I will look back and cherish for a lifetime.

“I want to thank all the coaches and staff I’ve worked with over my career; you have all made an impact and shaped me into the player and person I am today.

“Special thanks must go to the physios, doctors and surgeons, who have put me back together. We probably spent more time together than we would have liked, but without your expertise and continued care, I wouldn’t have been able to play for as long.

“To the fans all over the world, who have supported me throughout my career, thank you. My job wouldn’t have existed without you; you are what makes this game so special. I will never be able to replicate the feeling I get from running out to a full stadium of support. It has been my honour to represent you and a role I will forever miss.

“Finally, to all the players I have had the pleasure to play with (and against), you are why I have loved my career so much. We have made some unforgettable memories and I know I have friends for life.

"I'm completely committed to leading Harlequins to success this season, and then I'll turn my attention to the next chapter of my life."

Meanwhile, Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard paid tribute to Horwill and wished him good luck for his future.

"James is a true warrior of our great game; the ultimate professional and someone you always want on your side.

"It's been an honour and a pleasure to work alongside him at Harlequins. His resilience and character have made him the role model he is today and will continue to be long after his retirement.

"Every week he puts his body on the line and stands up to be counted alongside his team-mates; he is a very popular member of the squad, whom we will all miss.

"From everyone at Harlequins we would like to wish him and his young family all the very best in the future and he will always be welcome at his second home, The Stoop."

Horwill went on to play 62 Tests for Australia since making his international debut in 2007 and captained Australia during the 2011 World Cup. He was also the skipper of the Australian side that faced British and Irish Lions in 2013 and was last seen at the international level in June 2016.

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