Rugby: Horwill re signs for Reds

James Horwill. Photo / Getty Images
James Horwill. Photo / Getty Images

James Horwill's two-year deal starts the ball rolling on a string of Queensland re-signings with upgraded Reds coach Richard Graham confidently tipping the Super rugby franchise will retain 90 per cent of its players for next year.

Official announcements on fellow Wallabies forwards James Slipper and Rob Simmons are also soon expected, as well as a number of key youngsters and Reds stalwarts.

Graham, to take over from Ewen McKenzie as Queensland's coaching chief after this season, has been re-signing a string of off-contract players in a positive sign about what Horwill described as a "seamless transition".

Such a result would mean no other losses on top of the departures of backline trio Digby Ioane, Luke Morahan and Jono Lance, plus an end to veteran Radike Samo's fairytale four-year Queensland stint.

Wallabies skipper Horwill's re-signing was good timing for the Reds yesterday after Ioane last week snapped up a A$2 million-plus contract in France and utility back Lance signed with the Waratahs.

With forward Scott Higginbotham the only big name Queensland lost last year, there had been fears the 2011 title-winning team had started breaking up with McKenzie's decision to stand down.

- AAP

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