Horwill Dumped As Australia Captain For England Test

by
Reuters
Backrower Ben Mowen has replaced James Horwill as Australia captain for Saturday's test against England at Twickenham, with coach Ewen McKenzie saying he wanted the lock to concentrate on his own game instead.

Backrower Ben Mowen has replaced James Horwill as Australia captain for Saturday's test against England at Twickenham, with coach Ewen McKenzie saying he wanted the lock to concentrate on his own game instead.

The 28-year-old Horwill has struggled for recent form and had Rob Simmons not been ruled out through injury, the Queensland Reds forward may even have lost his spot in the starting line-up.

"There's no doubting James is a world-class leader but it's important he is putting his own personal performance first and playing to the level we know he is capable of on a weekly basis," McKenzie said in a statement on Thursday.

Mowen led the Wallabies in their 14-13 win over Argentina in the Rugby Championship in Perth last month and will have mercurial flyhalf Quade Cooper as his vice-captain.

Sitaleki Timani will partner Horwill in the second-row, while Matt Toomua retained his place at inside centre ahead of Christian Leali'ifano.

Wing Nick Cummins and flanker Scott Fardy have returned from injury.

Australia team:

15-Israel Folau, 14-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13-Tevita Kuridrani, 12-Matt Toomua, 11-Nick Cummins, 10-Quade Cooper, 9-Will Genia, 8-Ben Mowen (captain), 7-Michael Hooper, 6-Scott Fardy, 5-James Horwill, 4-Sitaleki Timani, 3-Ben Alexander, 2-Stephen Moore, 1-James Slipper

Replacements: 16-Saia Fainga'a, 17-Benn Robinson, 18-Sekope Kepu, 19-Kane Douglas, 20-Ben McCalman, 21-Nic White, 22-Christian Leali'ifano, 23-Bernard Foley.