Two horse race for Wallabies captaincy

Last updated 19:57 25/02/2013

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James Horwill is fighting to overcome injury and reclaim the Wallabies captaincy for this year's Tests against the British and Irish Lions.

Horwill and David Pocock are locked in a two-horse race for the rare opportunity to lead the Wallabies given the Lions only tour Australia every 12 years.

Coach Robbie Deans says it's far too early to make a decision on  his skipper for the Lions, but confirmed it was down to Horwill and  Pocock.

Brumbies star Pocock has been the first-choice to lead the Wallabies in Horwill's long absence, and sat on stage next to Deans at Monday's launch of 100 days to go until the arrival of the  Lions.

Horwill, Australia's captain before a hamstring injury destroyed his 2012 season, is currently in a moon boot and battling to overcome an ongoing ankle problem, which will sideline him for a third straight Super Rugby game this weekend.

The Reds skipper said he was desperate to be named captain, but admitted injury has ensured the decision was out of his hands.

''It'd be a massive honour, a huge opportunity and something that would be right up there with the list of big achievements in your personal career,'' said Horwill, who hopes to be back on the field in a couple of weeks.

''It's something that's a once-in-a-career opportunity for players and that's certainly not lost on any of the individuals that are going to be playing in the Lions tour.

''That's for Robbie and the coaching staff and obviously the ARU  to make that decision, but whatever is best for the team is all I'm  concerned with.''

Pocock said he enjoyed the responsibility of being Wallabies captain but said he wouldn't be asking Deans for the job.

''It's a great opportunity to serve the team in that role,'' he said.

''I have enjoyed it in the past but it's not something that I'll be campaigning for or chasing.''

Queensland halfback Will Genia endorsed state teammate Horwill as the Wallabies captain.

''I think James is the captain from where I stand. He was  obviously Wallaby captain before he got injured and the only reason  he hasn't been captain is because of injury, so you'd expect he  would come back,'' he said.

Genia hopes to return from his knee reconstruction in round five  or six, but says he won't be rushing back early with a massive year  ahead against the Lions and then the Rugby Championship.

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- AAP

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