Horwill to miss start of Super season for Reds

Last updated 14:08 12/02/2013

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Wallabies skipper James Horwill's prolonged injury woes will force him to miss the start of the Super  Rugby season for the Queensland Reds.

The Reds have ruled Horwill out of Saturday night's round one  clash with the Brumbies in Canberra and appointed prop James  Slipper as captain.

The Wallabies lock had been set to make his long-awaited  comeback from hamstring surgery in last Friday night's trial match  against the Chiefs on the Sunshine Coast before injuring his ankle  at training.

Reds coaching director Ewen McKenzie admitted Horwill was close  to full fitness but did not want to take any risks with his return  to action.

McKenzie now expects the 200cm second-rower to play his first  game in nine months against the NSW Waratahs in round two.

''As we've done all off-season we've taken a cautious approach  with James and his rehab and on this occasion we all agreed it  would be best to give him another week on the sideline,'' he said.

''But as we said last week, his ankle is only a minor setback,  and we fully expect him to be healthy when we play our first game  of the year at Suncorp Stadium next week.''

Adam Wallace-Harrison is now expected to team with Rob Simmons  in the Queensland second-row against the Brumbies, who missed last  year's play-offs by a bonus point.

A left-field choice to lead the Reds in their 20-8 loss to the  Chiefs, Slipper, the Stan Pilecki Medallist in 2012, will have  centre Ben Tapuai as his vice-captain.

''It's extremely humbling to be chosen as captain for the Reds,  especially when you think about the many great captains Queensland  has produced over the years,'' Slipper said.

''It's a huge game to start our year and the Brumbies proved last  year what a quality side they can be.

''We'll need to be at the top of our game if we are going to walk  away with the result we're after.''

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