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Injuries give Horwill a lesson in anatomy

Plenty of pain … James Horwill.

Plenty of pain … James Horwill. Photo: Getty Images

ASK James Horwill about what has gone on inside his right leg over the past three years. Then take a seat, flip open the anatomy book and try not to shudder in imagined pain.

The scars punctuating Horwill's leg recount the tale of his past three seasons, a period of his career when he crested a historic high by winning the Super Rugby title in 2011 but bookended by two campaigns of pain, frustration and the mundane isolation of rehab.

It is doubtful there is a leg in Australian rugby that has been subjected to as much carnage as that belonging to the Wallaby captain.

First, there is the knee that exploded in the second round of the 2010 season, sidelining him for an entire Super Rugby and international season. It was a devastating injury that sent his leg bending unnaturally backwards, followed by a shredding of his joint and surrounding supports.

''Ruptured ACL, lateral collateral ligament. Tore my whole post-lateral corner off, which includes the ITB hamstring out of its insertion,'' Horwill said. ''Sliced my meniscus off the insertion, had to get that pinned back down. I completely ruptured my semimembranosus tendon at the musculotendinous junction.''

Midway through last season, just short of the June Test window, Horwill not only tore his hamstring but snapped one of the muscles clean in half.

''It's got a few scars on there to help remind me of what I've done to it,'' Horwill said. He finds himself as part of ''Team Rehab'' again at the start of this year but is confident of being fit for the first game of the season, against the Brumbies in Canberra.

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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
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England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
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Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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