New Western Force recruit Will Harris is loving his new environment under head coach Simon Cron which he believes can “springboard” him on in his promising career.
The 23-year-old back-rower joined the Force from the NSW Waratahs in the off-season, linking up with the WA Super Rugby Pacific club six weeks ago.
Townsville-born Harris was schooled at Sydney’s Scots College alongside new teammate and close friend Jeremy Williams, before representing Australia at the 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Argentina where the Junior Wallabies were runners-up.
Harris went on to make his Super Rugby debut in 2020 with the Waratahs, enjoying a breakout campaign in 2022 with 14 starts and six tries, leading to an Australia A call-up.
The 194cm back-rower only managed five starts and 13 games overall in 2023, but he’s excited about his move west where he’s reunited with Cron, who previously worked as an assistant coach at the Waratahs.
“It’s a new opportunity,” Harris said. “I didn’t play a heap last year. Loved it there but I think it’s a great opportunity for me to move on. I’d been there a while.
“I’ve got one of my best mates (Williams) here which was a big factor and Crono, I had him at the Waratahs when I was younger. I’ve got a really high opinion of him as a coach and as a person. That was one of the key factors (behind the move) too.”
The explosive back-rower, who has 41 Super Rugby caps to his name, is ambitious about national honours too, having played for Australia A twice in 2022.
“Oh yeah 100 per cent,” Harris said when asked about one day playing for the Wallabies. “I think if you’re Australian and you don’t (have those ambitions), then what are you doing here?
“Definitely. That’s been a goal of mine for a while. I’m hoping this move can springboard me towards that.”
Harris, who is a lineout option, was glowing in his praise of his initial impressions of the Force set-up provided by Cron and his support staff.
“It’s really impressive,” he said. “I think he’s a world class coach. He’s built a great structure here, that gives everyone the best chance to be the best rugby player that they can be.
“He’s hard when he needs to be but he’s very personable and easy to approach you as well.”
Harris took a break after concluding his time with the Waratahs before heading to Perth, including traveling to Melbourne for the Caulfield Cup in October, along with a trip through NSW’s south coast in a van with his girlfriend.
The 23-year-old is currently living with good mate Williams in Perth, while the pair will be joined by Ben Donaldson when he links up with the Force next week after a break following his Wallabies’ World Cup commitments.
“Yeah, loving it, the boys are great, the weather is great,” Harris said. “I’m having a great time living with one of my best mates and I’ve got another one (Donaldson), coming in Thursday, so I’ve settled in well.
“And it’s not just them. There’s probably 10-12 people here I knew pretty well coming in. Whether that’s through different teams. There’s a fair few who’ve been through the Waratahs system. It’s good to reconnect with those guys.
“I’m really enjoying making new friendships as well. There’s a number of different guys I know well know who I didn’t six weeks ago, so it’s going well.”
Become a Force member today. The Force open their 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season on Friday 23 February 7pm against the Hurricanes at HBF Park.
The newly released 2024 Force playing jerseys, along with the Club’s 2024 merchandise range, are on sale now at the Club Store for $120 too, with Club Members entitled to 20% discounts on all merchandise.