Tim Horan

For the Australian rugby league player, see Tim Horan (rugby league).
Tim Horan
Date of birth (1970-05-18) 18 May 1970
Place of birth Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 93 kg (14 st 9 lb)
School Downlands College
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fly-half, Inside centre
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
1989–2000 Souths
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Saracens F.C.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
19962000 Queensland Reds 119 (285)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Australian Schoolboys
80 (140)

Tim Horan AM (born 18 May 1970) is a former Australian rugby union footballer. He played for the Queensland Reds in the Super 12, and represented Australia, he was one of the best centres in the world throughout the 1990s due to his attacking prowess, formidable defence and playmaking ability. He became one of only twenty dual Rugby Union World Cup winners.

As well as inside centre, Horan also played fly-half and earned one international cap on the wing.

Early career

Horan's rugby career began at Toowoomba's Downlands College under First XV coach John Elders, a former coach of England. The Downlands First XV of 1987 was undefeated throughout the year, including matches against Sydney's Kings, Riverview and St Joseph's colleges. The side also included future Wallabies Brett Johnstone, Brett Robinson, Garrick Morgan, and Peter Ryan.

He initially partnered Jason Little, with whom he wrote a book, Perfect Union and later in his career, Daniel Herbert. Horan and Little met when they were 13 years old, rooming together for a rugby league representative team.

Horan played a role in Australia winning the 1999 Rugby World Cup. He was voted player of the tournament (winning himself a year's worth of Guinness for scoring the fastest try).[1]


His debut came in 1989 against New Zealand, where he impressed his opposite number, Joe Stanley, so much that Stanley gave Horan his Test jersey and told him to keep his own as it was his first. In his next Test, he and Little marked the experienced French pair of Franck Mesnel and Philippe Sella, and Horan scored his first two Test tries. That year, in what has become a famous incident in Australian Rugby, both he and Jason Little were subjected to a mock bar room ceremony in which they pledged not to defect to Rugby League.

After winning the World Cup in 1991, in which he scored four tries and a successful Bledisloe Cup in 1992, the Wallabies endured a mixed 1993. 1994 saw Horan's career nearly end with a horrific knee injury in the Super 10 final and he would spend over a year in rehabilitation before making the squad to the 1995 World Cup defence in South Africa.

In 1996 he captained the national side for the first and only time and he also played at flyhalf. He missed the 61-22 loss to South Africa but returned for a 15-all draw with England, helping Ben Tune and George Gregan score a try apiece.

He peaked again for the 1999 World Cup against South Africa in the semi-final. Despite suffering from severe food poisoning the night before the match, he played against South Africa in a 27-22 overtime win. This was followed by the second Wallaby World Cup win of his career.

2000 was to be his final Test year and was affected by injuries. He signed for English club Saracens.


Horan began a career as a newspaper columnist and broadcaster. Horan is currently a Banker for Westpac Banking Corporation. He is an ambassador for Spinal Injuries Australia, speaking to school children regarding prevention of spinal injuries. Horan is also an ambassador for Aunties and Uncles - a non-profit organisation offering friendship, role-modelling and support for children in single parent or parentless families. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2006 and in 2009 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia.[2][3]

Horan's father is Mike Horan, the former National Party and Liberal National Party Member of Parliament for the Queensland electoral district of Toowoomba South.

Post-playing career

Tim Horan has been a commentator for Fox Sports Australia since September 2010.[4] In 2011 Horan joined Triple M's Sunday Rugby show The Ruck with Matt Burke


Horan was inducted into both the World Rugby Hall of Fame and the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame in 2015.[5]


  1. "Horan named top World Cup player". BBC News. 7 November 1999.
  2. "Tim Horan AM". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  3. The Age (2009). Australia Day honours. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  4. "Tim Horan joins Fox Sports rugby team". Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  5. "Wallabies full-back Israel Folau wins John Eales Medal for second successive year". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 August 2015. Archived from the original on 11 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
Preceded by
John Eales
Australian national rugby union captain
Succeeded by
David Wilson
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