James Edward Horwill

  • 39Age
  • 62Caps
  • 819Wallaby Number
Date Of BirthMay 29, 1985
Place of BirthBrisbane
SchoolBrisbane Boys' College
Debut ClubUniversity (QLD)
Other ClubHarlequins (ENG)
Debut Test Match2007 1st Test vs Fiji, Perth
Final Test Match2016 1st Test vs. England, Brisbane
Rugby World Cups2011

James Horwill, a product of Brisbane Boys’ College where he captained the 1stXV, was a consistent, hard-working lock who while somewhat modest in nature proved to be a leader of men on the field.

Although he did not play for Australian Schools his size and talent saw him selected at aged-group level where he competed in three IRB World Championships.

In 2006, Horwill made his Super Rugby debut, alongside fellow future Wallaby Berrick Barnes, for Queensland against New South Wales at Suncorp. He made his Test debut in 2007 against Fiji at Subiaco but was then overlooked for the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup squad.

A series of injuries interrupted his 2008 and 2010 seasons before he returned to the Wallabies in 2011 having led the Reds to their maiden Super Rugby title. It was then the turn of national coach Robbie Deans to stun the rugby world when he announced Horwill to succeed Rocky Elsom as captain for the 2nd Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand, a position the big second-rower carried into his first Rugby World Cup.

The following season was lost to injury but in 2013 Horwill led Australia into battle with the touring British & Irish Lions. He was not included in the Wallaby squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and soon thereafter signed with English club Harlequins. 



Represented Australia at the inaugural IRB U19s World Championship in South Africa. 


Selected in the Australian squad for the fourth-annual IRB U21 Rugby World Championships in Argentina. 


Selected in the Australian squad for the fifth-annual IRB U21 Rugby World Championships in France. 


Horwill won his first Test cap as a starting lock alongside Dan Vickerman in the 49-0 victory over Fiji in Perth.


Horwill started at lock in each of the opening nine Tests before a foot injury prematurely ended his season and forced him to miss the end-of-season Spring Tour. He scored his first Test try in the 18-12 win over Ireland in Melbourne. 


Horwill was the only member of the Wallaby squad to both start and play all 14 internationals. 


He missed the entire international season due to a knee injury sustained for the Reds against the Crusaders.


Horwill returned to the squad, played in 11 of the team’s 12 internationals, and was named as the 77th Wallaby captain ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In the pulsating quarter-final against South Africa he latched onto a pop ball from inside centre Pat McCabe and barged his way over from close range to score the game’s only try.


Horwill did not win a single cap after he underwent surgery for an injured hamstring. 


Horwill won a career high 13 caps, one in which he was relieved of the captaincy ahead of the Spring Tour international against England in favour of Brumbies’ No.8 Ben Mowen.  


He earned a further 10 caps, predominantly off the bench. In the 2nd Test, 6-0 win over France in Melbourne Horwill won his 50th Test cap. 


Horwill was capped three times during the Rugby Championship but was not included in the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup squad. 


He picked up the last of his 62 career caps in the opening Test of the home series against England.

James Horwill biography