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Thread: Western Force Sign 'tah and Australia "A" Back Sam Harris

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    Western Force Sign 'tah and Australia "A" Back Sam Harris

    The Emirates Western Force has signed powerful former Waratahs and City Origin rugby league back Sam Harris to a one-year contract.

    The 29-year-old joins the WA side after steering Japanese outfit Honda Heat into the top division for the first time in the club’s 10-year history with a standout campaign from flyhalf.

    Born in Auckland, Harris was raised on Sydney’s northern beaches and played both rugby codes until age 17, before electing to concentrate on the 15-man game.

    After winning the Ken Catchpole Medal in 2000 whilst playing for Warringah, Harris was snapped up by the Waratahs and won 13 caps in his first two seasons of Super Rugby. He broke into the representative arena in 2002 playing twice for Australia ‘A’.

    Blessed with the size and strength of a back rower and the ball-playing ability to cover the inside backs positions, he attracted interest from both codes the following season before decided to chance his arm in the NRL.

    In four seasons in rugby league, three of those with the Manly Sea Eagles, Harris made 64 first grade appearances and represented City in the annual clash with Country in 2004.

    But after a final year with Wests Tigers, the versatile back returned to the Waratahs to play the 2007 and 2008 seasons before shifting to Japan and moving out of his customary inside centre role and into flyhalf.

    Returning to ply his trade with Warringah this year, the 103kg utility has continued in the number 10 jersey where he has formed a lethal partnership with Force-bound scrumhalf Brett Sheehan.

    Harris said he has enjoyed the extra burden of performing in the pivotal playmaking role.

    “I was kind of pushed into (flyhalf) originally when ‘Hangers’ (Daniel Halangahu) and Kurtley (Beale) were injured during my last year with the Waratahs, but I played full time in the position with Honda and probably now consider it my best position,” said Harris.

    “My communication is certainly a strength and I’ve enjoyed getting my hands on the ball more often, whereas in the past I’ve probably been more comfortable at inside centre,” he said.

    Harris, whose wife Hannah is expecting twins in September, said he was looking forward to joining a ‘family’ orientated team.

    “One of the main attractions of the Western Force is that most of the squad have come from the east and have settled over in Perth in close proximity to each other,” he said.

    “At the Waratahs it was a bit different, where the boys would travel in from all parts of Sydney and return home straight after training. I feel in Perth there will be the opportunity to spend more time with the team and build a closer-knit culture.”

    Harris, who began playing with Warringah teammate Sheehan at age 10, said he was looking forward to linking with several close mates in WA.

    “The Force has a strong Warringah flavour but I’m also really good mates with Matty Dunning and I went to primary school with Haig Sare,” he said.

    RugbyWA General Manager, Rugby, Mitch Hardy said Harris brings experience and versatility to the Emirates Western Force squad.

    “Sam has impressive resume in both rugby codes and has played representative level rugby for Australia A, so he brings on board plenty of experience,” said Hardy.

    “He’s a very strong man and has that directness which enables him to play in both centres positions, but is also a creative player who has had a lot of success at flyhalf during his recent stint in Japan and at club level for Warringah,” he said.

    “Having that skill-set and experience makes Sam a very valuable addition to our 2010 squad.”

    Hardy also praised Harris’ management company, IMG, for their swift handling of the contracting process.

    “The negotiations were seamless and we’ve turned Sam’s contract around very quickly, which is thanks to both Sam and his manager, Richard Colreavy.”

    FACT FILE

    Sam Harris

    Position: Inside Centre/Flyhalf

    Physical: 190cm, 103kg

    Age: 29 (Born 30/1/1980, Auckland, NZ)

    Super Caps: 28 (36 total matches for NSW)

    Super Points: 20 (4t)

    Super Debut: 2001 v Cats (for Waratahs)

    Representative Honours: Australian Schoolboys (1996-97), Australia ‘A’ (2002)

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    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    Also in the West Today - no pictures yet - he sounds like a good defensive addition to the back line though

    "Former NSW Waratahs centre Sam Harris is on the verge of signing a one-year deal with the Western Force.

    Harris, 29, verbally agreed to terms yesterday and a contract was immediately dispatched, with the signed version expected to be returned to Force headquarters today.

    The 190cm back has 36 caps for the Waratahs and 64 appearances in the National Rugby League, mostly for Manly. "

    http://www.thewest.com.au/default.as...ntentID=157051

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    Veteran Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    Another journeyman signing ...

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    Hardy also praised Harris’ management company, IMG, for their swift handling of the contracting process.

    “The negotiations were seamless and we’ve turned Sam’s contract around very quickly, which is thanks to both Sam and his manager, Richard Colreavy.”
    hmmmm maybe reading bit too much into it but sounds like a thinly veiled swipe at others????

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    Perhaps subtlely letting someone out there know why they may have missed the boat?

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    Good acquisition. Thats the inside back covered. Only a winger and a hooker off a pretty evenly rounded squad.

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    Boy's CV reads like he has ADD - stint at the Eagles after his two years here?

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    He might not be the cream of Australian talent, but he has a couple of things going for him.
    1 Versatility, he can cover a fair bit of the inside, which allows us to take some risks with the first choice players (Andre and Rabbit mainly)

    2 Toughness, he seems to be a hard bugger, most big inside centres who convert to fly tend to go that way

    3 experience, he might not be lightning, but he's going to be dependable, and behind Rabbit (excitement personified, but he's young and will have bad games) and Andre (who has had knee issues before) some dependability is required

    I think this is a good signing, because he'll have left some money in the kitty for us to work with a rookie or academy fly who is planned to replace Andre....(or Rabbit for Andre and Rookie for Rabbit) It takes more than just buying up all the Wallabies to build an organisation, we've seen the effect of buying sucess and it's fool's gold!

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    C'mon the

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    Several years ago Sam Harris was an up and comer at the Tahs, then jumped ship to Manly in the NRL only to go back to the Tahs and then off to Japan. He's good with the ball in hand and can tackle but I still his value for money.

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    This has been hang'n for some time, that Harris was unhappy and wanted out... Tahs coach Hickey is loosing player confidence rapidly... Sam is a solid signing... and still has good game time to offer...

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    I agree Gigs. A player capable at 10/12 is ideal. JO'C would be a lot more comfortable if he ever had to slot in at 10 if he had Sheehan on the inside and Sam Harris outside him. As you say he may not be the cream but the fact is that at the moment you just have to take what you can get. Depth in NZ is fairly low (comparatively) at the moment and South Africa are about to lose a swather of players between the PDV and post-Lions tour effect. Experience is a premium.

    I wonder if the utility is Mark Bartholomeusz. I don't know about the 7s but he was capped for a minute or two for Australia way back when.

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    I think you may well be right, I was racking brains trying to remember who they had been talking to. Almost a travesty calling him a test player though - 2 minutes against Italy or something?

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Does he own a cap?

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    C'mon the

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    he's a good man. you poached another from us.

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