Summer signing Horne has had the golden touch at Saints

Rob Horne has impressed since arriving at Saints (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Rob Horne has impressed since arriving at Saints (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Rob Horne still doesn’t know what it is like to lose in a Northampton shirt.

And the Australian star will hope his Midas touch continues when Saints take on London Irish at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.

Horne made his first appearance in the club’s fluorescent away shirt earlier this month, helping the Wanderers to cruise to victory at Sale Jets.

He scored during an impressive 40-minute display before being taken off at half-time to keep him fresh for a starting berth in the big derby match against Leicester Tigers five days later.

Saints had not beaten their east midlands rivals in any of the previous seven meetings, but Horne played a big part in a superb 24-11 victory as his team bounced back from their opening-day defeat to Saracens.

And Jim Mallinder’s men were at it again at Franklin’s Gardens last Friday night, producing another dominant display in a brilliant 24-6 victory against Bath.

Horne also started that match, meaning he has a record of three wins from three as a Northampton player.

But the modest 28-year-old, who moved to Saints from Super Rugby side the Waratahs, refuses to take much credit for his new club’s recent resurgence.

“I don’t know about that,” says Horne, laughing as it is suggested that he has been something of a good omen for Saints.

“But it was a good response from the guys to what happened at Twickenham and we’re just working hard every day to improve, get better and see what we can do.

“It’s important to play well at home and to date we’ve done that.

“This week, we go away and last time we did that it wasn’t a great result for us so the challenge now is to go away and to put those types of good performances out there.”

Horne has formed a formidable centre partnership with Luther Burrell during the past two games.

And the Wallabies ace, who has won 29 caps, is loving lining up alongside the English bulldozer.

“He’s been outstanding,” Horne said.

“He’s helped me settle in and to get my head around the detail and the way Saints play.

“I’ve just been learning every day so I’m up to speed. I don’t want to let anyone down at the weekend.

“He’s been great and it’s been awesome to see him really dominate games.

“I’ve found it really easy to gel with him on and off the field, and that’s pretty similar with all the guys.

“I’ve felt really welcome and I just want to do the jersey proud when I run out there every weekend.”

Horne has certainly done that so far, and he is happy that he swapped all he ever knew for a new challenge in Northampton.

"It was probably the most difficult decision in my rugby career, for sure," said Horne, whose family have now joined him in his new surroundings.

"I'd spent my whole career where I was from and I was proud to play for my home state and country, but it came a time when I felt ready for a different experience.

"Saints really appealed to myself and my family because it's a club with so much history, pride and passion and it was a real selling point for me.

"The club has had a lot of success and it's hungry for more."