Horwill to miss Wallabies Tests

Crystal Ja, NZ Newswire May 27, 2012, 11:41 pm

Queensland's Super Rugby escape-act against the Brumbies has come at a high cost to captain James Horwill who is set to be ruled out of next month's Tests against Scotland and Wales.

Horwill joined the Wallabies camp on Sunday and will undergo scans on Monday after limping from the field minutes into the second half of the Reds' 13-12 nail-biter.

But Wallabies and Reds medics expect the injury will put him out of action for the June Test window.

"I don't think he'll be running out next week, put it that way," said Reds coach Ewen McKenzie, who indicated the injury could be related to a hamstring graft from Horwill's 2010 knee reconstruction.

"I'm not an expert but ... maybe some scar tissue has given way.

"We're hoping for the best."

If there's any silver lining for Horwill it is that he could be back in time to help the Reds continue their strong run home after the four-Test international break.

Queensland have won three straight matches, with the victory over the Brumbies a rousing war cry against those who doubted the defending champions during their early-season woes.

The victory gives them the Rod Macqueen Cup for the first time since it was minted in 2005, having beaten the Brumbies twice this season.

The win has also the bonus of heaping pressure on Jake White's men, who still lead the Australian conference, but must win on Friday against the Melbourne Rebels or have their buffer cut to just a single point.

They're on 45, five ahead of the Reds, who will enjoy another four points for their bye next round.

Queensland's late-season surge could also result in two Australian teams making the play-offs - an unlikely concept just a few weeks ago - as they meet the Rebels (away), Highlanders (home) and NSW (home) in the run to the play-offs.

"We know we haven't played our best footy in the first part of the comp or the middle of the comp, but we're on the way back," McKenzie said.

"Where we finish, who knows? But we're nipping away."

White was buoyant after the match, which came within a whisker of being a home win for the Brumbies, had it not been for Zack Holmes narrowly missing a 38m penalty kick in the dying seconds.

The Brumbies remain on the road on the other side of the international break, with games scheduled against the Western Force in Perth and NSW Waratahs in Sydney before a final game against the Blues in Canberra.

"It's not all doom and gloom," White said. "We've still got our own destiny in our own hands."

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