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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 Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
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