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Horwill focused on Wallabies not future

Recalled veteran James Horwill has cast a decision over his playing future aside to focus on a huge opportunity to reclaim a regular Wallabies starting spot.

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Horwill will start only his third Test this year after being promoted to the starting line-up by coach Michael Cheika for Saturday’s (Sunday morning AEDT) clash with France in Paris.

The 29-year-old now has a significant chance to boost his prospects for next year’s World Cup, which could turn out to be his international swan song.

Horwill has been strongly linked with a move to English club Harlequins beyond 2015, with some UK reports suggesting the deal is as good as done.

But the Queensland Reds second rower, speaking for the first time about the speculation, denies anything has been locked in.

“I haven’t made any decisions on anything to do with my future. That’s something I’ll deal with once this tour is over,” Horwill told AAP on Thursday.

“I’ve got to focus on rugby now and once I’ve got a bit of time to sit back, that’s when I’ll think about what I want do to.”

Horwill, though, admits the opportunity to play overseas is enticing.

“It’s one of the great advantages of the game, that it’s an international game and there are some great opportunities worldwide,” he said.

“I love my rugby, I love playing for Australia and Queensland as well, it’s something I’m very proud of, so you’ve got to weigh up different things for each individual.”

Horwill returns to the starting side in place of Sam Carter, who copped a knock in Australia’s 33-28 win over Wales last week.

Cheika said Horwill was deserving of his chance after being of the quickest to adapt to the team’s new style and the coach admitted to seeing strengths he previously hadn’t in his job as Waratahs coach in Super Rugby.

“I suppose it’s funny, you look at opposition players in a different way when you are coaching against them than when they’re part of your team because you look for different things,” Cheika said of Horwill, who started in the tour-opening win over the Barbarians.

“I’ve been really impressed with his effort and work rate.

“James was probably a little bit unlucky in the first game (against Wales) not to get a run but I thought this was a good opportunity to get him in there and give him his shot at starting.”

It’s been a turbulent year for Horwill, who lost the captaincy a year ago and was in and out of the side under former coach Ewen McKenzie.

The 57-Test veteran admits Cheika’s appointment has been a breath of fresh air.

“It’s just been something different and sometimes different is good,” Horwill said.

“I’m thrilled to get the opportunity and my job now is to go out there on Saturday and repay the faith.”

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