Harris happy to learn his trade with Leeds

Ben Harris looks to release the ball for Leeds.
Ben Harris looks to release the ball for Leeds.
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Ben Harris says the opportunity to continue improving under the guidance of scrum guru Tommy McGee was instrumental in his decision to commit his future to Leeds Carnegie.

The 24-year-old Huddersfield-born prop has been attracting interest from Premiership clubs on the back of a robust start to the Greene King IPA Championship season.

But the front-row powerhouse, who only joined Leeds last summer after two years with Rotherham Titans, has shown no inclination yet to fly the Yorkshire nest.

“I was told there was some interest but you’ve got to do what’s right for you at the time,” said Harris.

“Eventually I’m sure I’ll be ready for a new challenge, but not at the moment. I am happy where I am and it makes sense to stay here.

“If I’d moved up to the Premiership now I might be sat on a bench and I’d soon realise the grass is not always greener.

“I want to be playing rugby week in, week out, and improving my game, which is what I am doing at Leeds.

“Tommy McGee has been a massive figure for me. I’ve improved so much under him.

“So the thinking is with two more years under him, how much more will I learn?

“It’s not just the scrum work that you take from Tommy, it’s all-round forwards play as well as backs play as well.

“He’s a student of the game, he knows union inside out.

“Dave Baldwin and James Lowes have been great as well, I’ve learned a lot from them.”

As well as McGee’s input, the chance to pack down with his Leeds mates for a scrummaging session with the visiting England team last month, is another reason why staying with Leeds was the sensible choice.

Stuart Lancaster, the former Leeds coach, brings his England team up to the city twice a year and ahead of the recent autumn internationals, the two units went head to head.

“To say you’ve scrummaged against a Lions front row is really something,” said Harris, who will come off the bench tomorrow as Leeds host Jersey, with the sterner test at Bristol next week in head coach Lowes’s mind.

“I think Mako Vunipola, Tommy Youngs and Dan Cole were expecting to roll us over, but we held our own and moved them back a few times.”

Leeds need to bounce back against a team who like London Scottish seven days ago, are capable of springing a surprise.

“Scottish out-enthused us last week, which is unacceptable,” said Harris. “But we’ve reacted well to the defeats we’ve had.”