URC Ironman win puts Quan Horn on the map
Although it was a difficult season for the Lions as a team, Horn enjoyed a solid campaign.
Lions fullback Quan Horn in action against Connacht earlier in the URC season. Horn was named the URC Ironman earlier this week. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile/Gallo Images
Rising Lions fullback star Quan Horn was put firmly on the map earlier this week after it was announced that he had won the Ironman award in the United Rugby Championship (URC) this season.
The Ironman award goes to the player who has played the most minutes in the regular URC season (excluding the playoffs) and Horn emerged as the top of the bunch having played an incredible 1,428 minutes over 18 games.
He finished ahead of last season’s Ironman, Bulls lock Ruan Nortje who ended on 1,394 minutes, while Lions centre Marius Louw took third spot with 1,371 minutes of game time.
The 21-year-old admitted that winning the award came as a surprise to him, especially considering it is usually players in the second row or loose forward positions that pick up these awards as they usually have the most game time.
“Winning the URC Ironman award was an absolute surprise for me. I had put in a lot of hard work and effort throughout the season, but I never really expected to be in contention for such a prestigious award,” said Horn.
“It’s an incredible feeling. I understand that those positions (lock and loose forward) often receive a lot of recognition due to their significant playing time and contributions to the game. So, when I, as a different position player, receive such an honour, it truly means a lot.”
Although it was a difficult season for the Lions as a team, Horn himself enjoyed a solid campaign, impressing with some scintillating runs, while he also scored a number of thrilling tries.
He started the season on the wing, with experienced fullback Andries Coetzee at the back, but soon took over that position and made it his own over the rest of the campaign.
Horn also believes the Lions can build on this season and go from strength to strength, as they target a top eight finish in the competition next season.
“It was indeed an up and down season for the lions, but I am happy with my individual performance throughout the campaign. There is still a lot to work to do and things to improve on,” said Horn.
“I always aim to give my best and make a positive impact on the team’s performance, regardless of the overall outcome.
“I firmly believe that the Lions have tremendous potential for growth. While we have faced challenges and setbacks, I have witnessed the resilience and determination within the team. We have a talented group of players, and I am looking forward to the next season.”