YEAH, ‘TAH: Waratahs Kane Douglas gets a pass away to Rob Horne as he is tackled by Reds James Horwill during their Super Rugby 30-6 demolition of Qld at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
21-year-old Rob Horne broke through for his Wallabies debut last year, but injuries haven’t allowed him to establish himself in Robbie Deans’ set-up.
Horne’s defensive efforts against Melbourne and Queensland in the first two matches of the Super Rugby season are even more impressive when you consider he was in doubt for the opening weeks of the year with an elbow injury.
But instead of easing his way back into it, Horne has thrown himself into the tackle and has been a key link in a Waratahs defence which hasn’t conceded a try so far this Super season.
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The Oatley local junior said he worked overtime to get himself fit for the start of the season and embraced the brutal physical contest with the Reds on Saturday night.
The Wallabies know what they’re going to get from the Tahs’ No.13, and depending on what Deans wants in his outside centre, Horne says he’ll be doing everything he can to be in the frame.
"I guess the national selectors know the type of game I play," he said.
"If that’s going to fit into their plans than that’s the way it is.
"But if we (Waratahs) keep winning as a team and keep performing like we did (on Saturday night), then all that kind of stuff works itself out."
Standing at 186cm and weighing 90kg, Horne uses his body effectively and can get in the face of his opposite.
Horne said he loves the physical contest and was never going to hold back against the Reds, despite the elbow problem he recently had.
"Defence is one aspect of any centre’s game and I think as a unit we’re defending pretty well," he said.
"We haven’t conceded a try in two Super games which is a pretty big feat considering the amount of talent that’s in the team.
"I ticked all the boxes that were necessary plus some to … prove the fitness and that the elbow was alright.
"I’m glad I did that because so far so good.
"In these derbies you can’t go out there second guessing yourself physically … you get a bit of confidence out of getting through a physical game like that, it feels good."