Australian sports stars are renowned for being some of the most competitive in the world. Just ask James Horwill, former captain of the country’s famous rugby union side.

A recent guest speaker at the recent Virtual GIS Melbourne Global Sports Summit, James spoke of his pride at leading the Wallabies out at the 2011 World Cup – the highlight of a playing career which saw him represent the Wallabies over 60 times, including a British & Irish Lions tour in 2015.

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James was a guest speaker at our recent Virtual Melbourne Global Sports Summit.

James, who now lives in England and is studying for an MBA, said: “One thing Australia is known for globally is that we’re a very proud nation, particularly of our sporting heritage. It’s understood as a player, particularly in rugby, that there’s an expectation that you need to win. That’s a given and something that’s non-negotiable and not really disused within the group. It’s just known and you’ve got to go out there and do your best to win.”

A nine-year association with Super Rugby side Queensland Reds ended in 2015 when James moved to England to play for Harlequins. Since retiring from the sport in 2019, he’s “gone back to school” to complete his MBA.

He added: “I think the big thing that we always try to push across is that no team is ever going to win all of their games, but it’s about putting the effort in and showing how much you care for the jersey. We’ve got a never say die, take a backwards step attitude and that needs to be embodied in the way that you play rugby or any other sport.”