B&I Lions pain: Harris eager for another crack at Boks
SPOTLIGHT: Scotland’s Chris Harris is relishing the prospect of facing South Africa again after tasting defeat at Springbok hands during this year’s British and Irish Lions tour.
The centre was one of eight Scotland internationals involved in the Lions’ 2-1 series loss in South Africa in July and August, with Dark Blues coach Gregor Townsend and defence chief Steve Tandy among Warren Gatland’s backroom staff.
“I’d love to get another crack at the Springboks,” Harris said Wednesday. “Losing the third Test was obviously a disappointing finish to an amazing tour so to have another opportunity to play against them will be amazing.
“I’d like to think what I learnt about South Africa in the summer [July/August] can help me this weekend. Gregor and Steve were involved as well, so I think we’re pretty ready with regard to what to expect this week.”
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“We learned a lot from the tour.”@finn_russell is hoping experience of facing the @Springboks with @LionsOfficial this summer can aid the team ahead of Saturday’s meeting at @BTMurrayfield. pic.twitter.com/QzLYQTX8XZ
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) November 10, 2021
Scotland beat Australia 15-13 at Murrayfield on Sunday, a day after the Springboks launched their European tour with a 23-18 win over Wales at a rainswept Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
“They’re obviously a decent outfit and they had a hard-fought win over Wales recently so it’s going to be a tough test,” said Harris, who plays his club rugby with Gloucester in the English Premiership.
“It will be slightly different to what we faced against Australia but we’ve got enough experience in the squad and the right coaching group to put us in a good place for Saturday.”
Scotland, who had away wins against England and France in the 2021 Six Nations, host Japan, who beat them at the 2019 World Cup, on November 20.
“There’s a great deal of confidence in the squad,” said Harris. “We’ve obviously had a pretty decent last 10 months where we’ve been really starting to perform.
“That, coupled with various boys going away on the Lions tour and getting experience from there to bring into this campaign, has been massive.”
Townsend is due to name his side to play South Africa on Thursday, with the Springboks having already announced their team.
#ICYMI: Jantjies knows that his opposite number Finn Russell has all the capabilities to be a match-winner for Scotland on Saturday. #SouthAfrica #Springboks #Scotland #SCOvRSA https://t.co/u9qXN6vcGI
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) November 11, 2021