Reds captain James Horwill has taken the next step towards becoming a one-club man after signing a new deal with Queensland and the ARU.
The lock will remain at Ballymore until at least 2015, a contract which also takes him through to the next World Cup.
Despite suggestions of issue surround third party payments, which Horwill has previously debunked, it was a straight-forward process for both parties, with Horwill never intending to seek fresh pastures.
Crucially, the deal is a massive vote of confidence in the coaching transition under way at the Reds, where Richard Graham will take over from Wallaby aspirant Ewen McKenzie next season.
Horwill, 27, said he could never see himself playing anywhere but Queensland in Super Rugby, although as the holder of a UK passport he would weigh up his options after the next World Cup.
“It is important to me. Loyalty is very important to me as a person. I couldn’t see myself playing for another Australia side,” Horwill said.
“I’m very passionate about playing for Queensland and very passionate about playing for my country. That’s something I’ve thought of and I hope to go through with, playing for one club in Australia in my career.”
The pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper have been vital to the success of the Reds but Horwill’s return this season from a long lay-off has only accentuated his worth to the franchise and the Wallabies.
He is Australia’s standout lock and his hard running and physical presence has given the Reds a much harder edge to their attack and defence.
Graham said Horwill’s new deal would be the first of a number to be unveiled over coming weeks, which would go some way to offsetting the departure of Digby Ioane (France) and Jonno Lance (Waratahs).
“James is one of the premier locks in world rugby. It’s evident that he’s a fine leader of young men. It’s a really good vote of confident for the organisation. And a start for the next couple of weeks when we’ll announce some more players staying,” Graham said.
Horwill was concussed in the draw against the Force on the weekend and will be further assessed this week to see if he is able to take on the Sharks in Brisbane on Friday night.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.