Robert George Horne
- 838Wallaby Number
Utility back Rob Horne attended what he referred to as a “non-traditional rugby school”. As a consequence, and in the absence of a school 1st XV team at the Georges River College in Sydney’s Oatley, Horne played colts for Shute Shield club Southern Districts in years 11 and 12. That experience proved invaluable and he was rewarded with two years of Australian Schools representation and then two years of national U20s representation that bookended a New South Wales debut at just 18 years of age.
By 20 he was a Wallaby however much of Horne’s senior career was then plagued by an array of hamstring and shoulder injuries. Despite his injury history Horne was selected in two Rugby World Cup squads, 2011 and 2015.
In 2017, and after 34 caps for his country, Horne signed a three-year deal with English club Northampton. Tragedy struck late in the 2017/18 season during a premiership match against Leicester. Inside the opening minute Horne was knocked out when he attempted to tackle rival No.8 Sione Kalamafoni. In the tackle Kalamafoni's arm and elbow made contact with the neck / shoulder area on Horne's right side. As a consequence Horne suffered a brachial plexus avulsion. Simply put, Horne detached five nerves from his spinal cord to be left with full paralysis in his right arm. He then retired, aged just 28.
Selected for the Australian Schools tour of Fiji and New Zealand.
Represented Australian Schools against England U18s, Samoan Schools and New Zealand Schools.
Represented Australia in the IRB Sevens World Series
Selected in the Australian squad for the inaugural IRB U20s World Championships in Wales.
Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the second-annual IRB Junior World Championship tournament in Japan but had to withdraw from the campaign after he re-tore his hamstring. Horne was chosen in the Wallabies’ Spring Tour squad but forced to return home prior to the first game due to a training injury.
Horne won his first Test cap when selected at outside centre in the run-on XV for the 49-3 victory over Fiji in Canberra. He was then capped at No. 13 in the next five successive Tests before he suffered a season ending elbow tendon injury in the 28-49, 1st Test loss to New Zealand.
Ongoing elbow tendon issues and yet another major hamstring injury restricted Horne to just three Test caps for the season although he was chosen for his first Rugby World Cup.
Horne earned five Test caps as starting outside centre however he was cruelly ruled out for the rest of the year after he tore a hamstring while playing for Southern Districts in the Shute Shield preliminary final against Manly.
Horne won just one cap, off the bench in the 16-15, 2nd Test win over the British & Irish Lions in Melbourne before his international year was ended by another hamstring injury.
Horne collected a career high 10 Test caps, predominantly on the left wing. His season was highlighted by a last-gasp 78th minute try to set up the winning conversion from Bernard Foley in the 24-23, 1st Test victory over South Africa in Perth.
Horne started on the wing against the Springboks in the opening test of 2015, but missed the remaining three matches of the Rugby Championship with a calf injury. He earned a further four caps over the course of the year and selection to his second Rugby World Cup however his tournament was curtailed by a shoulder injury picked up in the pool match against England.
He started on the left wing in each of the three home Tests against England before a shoulder injury suffered in the 8-42, 1st Test loss to New Zealand ruled him out for the remainder of the Rugby Championship.
In February he signed a three-year deal with English club Northampton. His final Test cap was won as the starting outside centre in the 40-27 victory over Italy in Brisbane.