Harlequins confirm James Horwill will join club after Rugby World Cup

Former Australia captain agrees move to The Stoop on a three-year-deal after next year's rugby showpiece

Harlequins have confirmed that Australia lock James Horwill will join the Aviva Premiership club after next year’s Rugby World Cup.

I’ve been offered a fantastic opportunity with Harlequins to experience rugby in another part of the world and this is right for me at this stage of my rugby career

James Horwill

The 29-year-old, who captained the Wallabies on 16 occasions including at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and against the British and Irish Lions last year, had been heavily linked with a move to the The Stoop and has agreed a three-year deal.

Capped 58 times for Australia, Horwill will remain with Queensland Reds for the 2015 Super Rugby season, which begins in February, before hoping to be a part of Michael Cheika’s Australia squad that could see him line up against a number of his future team-mates when the Wallabies take on England in September.

“I’m delighted that we’ve attracted someone of James’ standing in the game to play for us following the completion of the Rugby World Club next year,” said Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea.

“James is known around the world not only for his uncompromising style of play, but also for his strength of character.

“He will be an asset for us on the field and within the changing room.”

Australia and New Zealand internationals are already in high demand nine months before the start of the World Cup with the big-spending English and French clubs jostling to snap up top southern hemisphere talent on money-spinning deals.

“As hard as it will be to leave Ballymore, my team mates, the staff and all my fans and friends in Queensland, I’ve been offered a fantastic opportunity with Harlequins to experience rugby in another part of the world and this is right for me at this stage of my rugby career,” Horwill said.

“I’m completely committed to helping the Reds and Australia achieve success in this World Cup year, and then I’ll turn my attention to the next chapter of my life in rugby with Harlequins.”

News of Horwill’s move to the Aviva Premiership comes on the same day that Wallabies centurion centre Adam Ashley-Cooper was confirmed to be joining Top 14 club Bordeaux Begles after the Rugby World Cup on a two-year deal.

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