Saints stars heap praise on Horne ahead of Tigers showdown

Rob Horne will be at Twickenham to watch Saints take on Leicester this weekend
Rob Horne will be at Twickenham to watch Saints take on Leicester this weekend

At Twickenham this Saturday, the rugby community will rally round Rob Horne.

The Australian ace was forced to retire at the age of just 28 after suffering full paralysis of his right arm during the first minute of Saints' win at Leicester back in April.

And it was decided that this weekend's local derby would be played in aid of the man who made such a big impact during his short stay at Franklin's Gardens.

His former Saints team-mates have already shown their appreciation for his efforts by voting him players' player of the year for the 2017/18 season.

And this week, many have been hailing the man who scored eight tries in just 21 Northampton appearances after joining from the Waratahs in the summer of 2017.

Here's what those up for media duties had to say about Horne....

Saints lock Courtney Lawes: "He's an unbelievable guy.

"He had a pretty tragic accident, but he's the kind of person who can get through it and we want to help him in any way we can.

"He's a leader, a good guy, social dude, family man and an unbelievable player.

"He'll be missed.

"Even though he was only here for a short time, he made a big impact on us."

Saints flanker Lewis Ludlam: "It's easy to say it but he's one hell of a bloke.

"He's one of those guys who has got the rugby-life balance spot on.

"He's got the ability to lead a group of men on the pitch and then after the game get to know them personally and have a beer with them.

"Especially for us young lads, he was someone we really looked up to. He saw past how many caps you had and always wanted to see how you are, develop you and see you at your best.

"I genuinely can't speak highly enough of him."

Saints scrum-half Cobus Reinach: "We'll definitely use Rob as inspiration.

"He's a big part of what we're achieving as a team, he still has a place in our locker room and he will have it for whenever he wants it.

"He's going to be a big inspiration in getting us up for the game."

Saints centre Andrew Kellaway: "I spent a lot of time learning under Rob watching him before I even got to the Waratahs and I was fortunate enough to play alongside him.

"I would consider him a good close friend and a mentor.

"It was obviously a shame to see what happened here, but he's had nothing but good things to say about this place."

Saints forwards coach Phil Dowson: "Rob is fundamentally a legend of a bloke.

"He came to the club after a pretty stellar career in Australia and it wasn't one of those where he just wanted to travel and see the country - he wanted to win.

"He was incredibly competitive, had a real edge to his game, which I loved, certainly when I became defence coach because of the way he led.

"And certainly after that shocker of a Saracens defeat at home (before the win at Welford Road), the way he spoke to the players and led the team that week was incredible.

"He's an absolute top man and I haven't got enough good words to say about him and his family, and how he dealt with the accident, how he dealt with the media and how he revealed the extent of the damage to the players.

"He did it all with incredible dignity and that is a real mark of somebody who morally and as a character is top class.

"I've got a huge amount of respect for him and I would always enjoy having a beer with him."