Rivals unite before Super Rugby final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rivals unite before Super Rugby final

Laine Clark 06/07/2011 04:06:09 AM Comments (0)

State of Origin fever has not exactly struck the Queensland Reds, but it will unite rival rugby forwards James Horwill and Brad Thorn for one night at Suncorp Stadium.

Reds captain Horwill is a born-and-bred Queenslander - but he admits he will be attending his very first Origin clash when the Maroons vie for a sixth straight rugby league series win over NSW on Wednesday night.

Joining Horwill in the 52,000-strong sellout crowd will be Thorn - who will also be rooting for Queensland.

Thorn will be hoping to see a fitting farewell for retiring Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer, a former Brisbane, Queensland and Test teammate.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie and Queensland's Saia and Anthony Faingaa are also expected to be at Suncorp Stadium.

Horwill believed the Origin game would prove a timely distraction for the players ahead of their much hyped Super Rugby final against the Crusaders at the same venue on Saturday night.

However, Horwill did not think the Reds could "feed off" any of the Origin hype leading up to one of the biggest games in their history.

"Everyone enjoys the speculation and hype that goes around Origin, it is a pretty special thing and the boys enjoy it but I don't think the boys will feed off it," he said.

He joked that Origin loyalties may split the Reds ahead of their clash.

"(Reds flanker) Beau (Robinson) always says he always supports NSW but there is not many of them - as long as Queensland gets up and we can brag on Thursday morning that is fine," Horwill said.

The Reds got an early taste of Origin on Tuesday.

NSW coach Ricky Stuart had hoped to hold a secret training session at Ballymore but media arrived at the Reds ground for a press conference with Horwill at the same time - exposing the Blues' ruse.

"NSW Origin training at ballymore! Was keen to have a look but had to do gym... Rocket (Rod Davies) went fir a nosey n copped some serious death stares," Queensland No.10 Quade Cooper tweeted on Tuesday.

Cooper later tweeted: "Time for training been a big week for ballymore had the blues origin and then the crusaders lol.. Our turn hope there's some grass left."

The Crusaders went through a light run on Tuesday after finally touching down in Brisbane.

The squad arrived three hours behind schedule after a three-legged journey from South Africa, following their semi-final win over the Stormers.

Lock Luke Romano was the only member of the squad not to initially arrive - he was quarantined by Qantas in Johannesburg after being diagnosed with chickenpox but should be available for selection.

The Crusaders will be keen to avenge a 17-16 defeat to the Reds on May 29 and claim a remarkable eighth Super Rugby title.

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