Waratahs' Harrison ready to take things up a notch

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs flyhalf Will Harrison wants to take the next step when Super Rugby AU kicks off this weekend.

Harrison was thrown in the deep end in Super Rugby this year, starting in every Waratahs match until the season shutdown and shouldering plenty of responsibility.

"I feel like I had a strong start, especially in that Crusaders game, it was a bit of a baptism of fire in Christchurch but I felt like I handled myself well there, and then went through a bit of a, not a rough patch, but I guess I didn't play the way I wanted to play in those next two games against the Blues and the Rebels obviously.

"Wet weather footy didn't play into our hands too well and I didn't struggle with it, but I didn't feel like I was finding any form.

'"Ten when we played the Lions, I felt like I really picked up a bit of momentum and then from then moving into the Chiefs and the Brumbies I felt like I was finding my feet and finding my form."

Harrison said his focus heading into Super Rugby AU was honing his decision making in games under pressure.

"The main thing I can work on as a young number 10 is just my game management, knowing when to kick the ball, knowing when to pass the ball and controlling the lads around," he said.

"My big goal for this next block's just controlling and taking a different role amongst the group."

In some ways, Harrison's role will automatically be elevated with the departure of senior back Kurtley Beale and the absence of fellow young 10 Mack Mason, who has remained in Queensland as the Waratahs returned to training.

The Waratahs have been the victims of external expectations at times in their history, generally sporting a Wallaby-laden lineup that brings with it high standards from fans.

As they head into Super Rugby AU, huge stars will be few and far between and expectations have in many ways already been adjusted.

Harrison said it was the attitude of the young group that gave him confidence that they could turn their 

"We want to go out there and win this thing. We're not going in there to participate," he said.

"We've got huge belief in ourselves and the players we have around us.

"A lot of good players in amongst that backline. Benny Donaldson, he's obviously stepped up in that ball playing role as well and he's training really well," he said.

"We've got a really young and hungry group so we're just trying to push each other there.

"We've got players like Angus Bell, Mark Nawaqanitawase, other boys like Nick Malouf who have come in from the Sevens and taken a strong vocal, because he's obviously a leader in the sevens, taking on picking a few boys up which is good.

"To be honest, we're a really hungry younger group who are pushing each other to really breed success here.

"We're going to take the right foot hopefully on Friday night."

The Waratahs take on the Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Friday July 3, kicking off at 7:05pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports. Buy a Kayo subscription here.