Michael Horak

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Michael Horak
Full name Michael John Horak
Date of birth (1977-06-03) 3 June 1977 (age 39)
Place of birth Johannesburg, South Africa
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 92 kg (14 st 7 lb)
School Grey College
Rugby league career
Position Fullback
Professional clubs
Years Club / team Apps (points)
1997 Perth Reds
National teams
Years Club / team Apps (points)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fullback, Wing
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Apps (points)
Leicester Tigers
London Irish
Correct as of 8 November 2009
National team(s)
Years Club / team Apps (points)
England Saxons


Correct as of 22 June 2002
Coaching career
Years Club / team    


Free State Cheetahs
(defensive coach)
UFS Shimlas
Eastern Province Kings
(defensive coach)
(defensive coach)
Correct as of 23 November 2014

Michael John Horak (born 3 June 1977 in Johannesburg) is a former rugby union footballer and former rugby league player who last played at fullback or wing for Saracens.


Playing career[edit]

After playing for the Free State Schools Cravenweek side in 1995 and the Free State U21s in 1996 he moved to Australia to play Rugby League, where he represented the Perth Reds.[1] He has also played for the South Africa national rugby league team, including at the 1997 Super League World Nines.[2]

Horak was signed by Bob Dwyer for the Leicester Tigers in 1997[3] and became Leicester's first-choice full back, replacing the retiring John Liley and ahead of Fijian international Waisale Serevi. He also played for the England U21 side. However, he dropped to third choice after Tiger's signing of Tim Stimpson and Geordan Murphy.

Horak subsequently followed Dwyer to Bristol[4] before signing for London Irish in 1999. He left Irish in 2000 but re-signed in 2001.[2]

He started in the 2002 Powergen Cup Final at Twickenham, scoring a try as London Irish defeated the Northampton Saints.[5]

His solitary England cap came during the Senior tour of Argentina, on 22 June 2002 at the Estadio José Amalfitani.[6] He qualifies for England via his English mother.[1]

After spending two seasons with Benetton Rugby Treviso, Horak signed with Saracens for the 2009–10 season[7] but announced his retirement with immediate effect in January 2010.[8] He is a tall player with a big left boot.[9]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2010, Free State Cheetahs head coach Naka Drotské appointed Horak as the defence coach and head of the Cheetahs academy prior to the 2010 Currie Cup Premier Division competition.[10] He became the general manager of the team in 2011[11] and also helped out as defensive coach at the Griffons in 2011.[12]

At the end of 2012, he relinquished his role as general manager at the Free State Cheetahs to take over as director of rugby as well as head coach at Varsity Cup side UFS Shimlas prior to the 2013 Varsity Cup competition,[13] but still continued as Cheetahs defensive coach.

At the start of 2014, it was announced that he signed a five-year contract to join the Eastern Province Kings as defensive coach, following the completion of Shimlas' 2014 Varsity Cup campaign.[14] However, he soent just one season in Port Elizabeth before joining the Sharks for the 2015 season.[15]


  1. ^ a b Cleary, Mick (20 June 2002). "England devise new plan to snare Pumas". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "London Irish profile". London Irish official site. 30 June 2007. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Trow, Paul (17 August 1997). "England's super 12: Club-by-club guide to the Allied Dunbar Premiership". London: The Independent. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  4. ^ Hewett, Chris (10 May 1999). "Bristol promoted in top drawer fashion". London: The Independent. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "Exiles claim Cup glory". BBC. 20 April 2002. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  6. ^ "Argentina beaten by England youngsters". BBC. 22 June 2002. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "Trio to join Saracens for new campaign". Saracens official site. 14 April 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "Saracens announce retirement of Michael Horak". Saracens.com. 6 January 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "BBC report on signing". BBC. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "Vrystaat-lakwerk teen Haaie getoets". Media24 (in Afrikaans). Beeld. 27 July 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Os brei VS-agttal". Media24 (in Afrikaans). Beeld. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Perses toets Bul-diepte". Media24 (in Afrikaans). Beeld. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Hawies VRU se hoof van rugbysake". Media24 (in Afrikaans). Beeld. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Horak to join Eastern Province Rugby in 2014" (Press release). Eastern Province Rugby Union. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Horak and Kings part ways" (Press release). Eastern Province Kings. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 

External links[edit]