He’s a 26-year-old sparky who’s played five-eighth, hooker and lock for the Norths Devils and his versatility has been a big reason for a remarkable rise that has led to an international call-up for PNG and just last week, his 50th 1st grade game for the Devils.
Born in Port Moresby but raised in Australia, Liam Horne made his first grade debut in 2019 against the Tweed Seagulls; was part of the 2021 Intrust Super Cup Premiership Winners; and last year, ran out in the Pacific Test against Fiji.
It all started when he began playing for the Norths Devils Juniors at the age of 10, collecting trophies with the Colts and the Under 18s on the way to making first grade.
From Borrowed Boots to First Grade
Reflecting on his debut against Tweed four years ago, Horne remembers that day as one that took an unexpected turn. Expecting to watch from the bench, Horne lent his boots to former junior teammate David Fauid.
After an injury to Michael Sio during the warm-up, he found himself thrust into action. Borrowing boots from a Colts player, he battled through the relentless rain despite Tweed dominating the game.
Known for his tenacity and powerful running style, Horne gained a reputation as one of the toughest runners in the competition, despite his modest 90-kg frame.
His tireless efforts have resulted in eight tries this season, catching the eye of Papua New Guinea selectors and earning him a crack at the international scene.
Horne also played a pivotal role in the Devils’ 2022 title repeat. Playing a standout game in the Grand Final against Redcliffe, he was a vital part of one of the team’s three tries during their 16-10 victory.
Horne admits that he has also had to cultivate self-belief to establish himself as a regular first-grader. He now aspires to secure a full-time role within an NRL squad, training with the Brisbane Broncos during the previous offseason.
As Devils junior Liam Horne celebrates his half-century, his journey from borrowed boots to a key player on the team is a testament to his determination and passion for his sport.
Expressing gratitude to everyone who has contributed to his development as a player, Horne acknowledged the club’s support and guidance throughout his career.
Published 6 July 2023