Saracens have been one of the first clubs to swoop following news of the RFU’s decision not to renew any of their England Sevens players’ contracts. The North London club are set to sign 20-year-old speedster Ben Harris.
At 6’2 and 101kg, Harris is heavily built for a Sevens player, and is likely to play on the wing or at outside centre in 15s. A powerful, fast athlete; Harris had interest from at least one Greene King IPA Championship club before signing for the Saracens, who themselves will compete in the competition next season.
Not to be confused with the Wasps prop of the same name, Harris wasn’t listed in the Saracens’ official 39-man squad list last week, but RugbyPass understands a deal has been struck to bring him to Allianz Park.
It was revealed by the Telegraph last week that RFU will drop its sevens programme as it tries to cope with the financial impact of COVID-19. The bombshell news has players in England’s Sevens programme effectively unemployed and scrambling to find work. Harris appears to be one of the first to land a gig in 15s.
According to his England rugby bio, Harris started playing rugby at the age of 13 for Royal Grammar School High Wycombe and went on to make his club debut for Maidenhead RFC at 14.
In his final year at school, the winger captained the first XV team and was part of the squad that won the Windsor Sevens and Solihull Sevens.
He had a spell with the London Irish Academy where he played in the A-League in September 2017, before making his debut for the England Sevens at the opening tournament of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series in Moscow, Russia in 2018 at just 18 years old. He went on to make his HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series debut a year later in Las Vegas.
He scored 14 tries for England in total. An explosive athlete, Harris won the English Schools’ Track and Field Championships in junior (U15) triple jump meaning he was ranked number one in the UK for his age group in 2014.
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