SYDNEY - They won the minor premiership in record-setting fashion and boast an astonishing 18 internationals, but once-bitten finalist Rob Horne has a wise word of warning to his NSW Waratahs teammates.
"There's no fairytales in life. You've got to go out there and make it happen," Horne said ahead of the Waratahs' blockbuster Super Rugby final with the Crusaders tonight.
"It's not just going to happen for us because we want it to."
Just ask Greg Norman, Ken Rosewall or Wayne Pearce, greats of Australian sport who fell agonisingly short on multiple occasions of winning the titles they coveted above all.
The Waratahs, still without a title after 18 years of trying, are contesting their third final and, after losing twice in Christchurch, once again face the seven-time champion Crusaders in the decider.
But this time it's in Sydney.
Along with Kurtley Beale, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Benn Robinson, Horne is among five players backing up from the 2008 final loss to the Crusaders.
That night, playing at home, the Crusaders recovered from 12-3 down to swamp the Waratahs 20-13 after playmaker Beale limped off injured early in the second half.
Like Beale, Horne was a starry-eyed teenager back then and believed his next opportunity would come the following season.
"I was a kid," Horne said.
"As an 18-year-old, you're desperate to play every week and just doing your best and you don't really appreciate everything else that goes on around you.
"It was my first year so everything came along quite quickly.
"In your first year if you make a grand final, you think: 'It's alright, we'll win it next year'.
"But it doesn't work like that. They come few and far between, and that's what I picked up.
"When you're there and you're having a good year, you've got to make it the best year.
"You've got to go and do the business."