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Forgotten England backrow pumped


Forgotten England backrow rebuilt himself after Australian Test episode destroyed his confidence

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

Teimana Harrison views Sunday’s clash with the Barbarians as a redemptive occasion to prove his worth in an England jersey.

All of Harrison’s five caps were won in 2016, including the final Test of a 3-0 series win in Australia that saw the Northampton back row replaced after only 31 minutes on account of being outmuscled at the breakdown.

The looming non-cap showdown at Twickenham ends a three-year international exile he admits took its toll on his confidence.

“I guess there is a little bit of a point to prove,” said Harrison. “I haven’t had the best run in an England shirt so it would be nice to get out there and put in a good shift with the boys.

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“I took a little bit of rebuilding after 2016 but at the time I was focusing too much on ‘I have to do this, I have to make England again’.

“Your confidence does take a hit when something like that happens. You’ve got to get your head down and work yourself out of it.

“So I put England to one side and thought if I played well, my performance would get me there. Worrying about it wasn’t going to do anything.

“I went away and thought ‘If I play well for the club, I may get an opportunity’. I’m quite lucky, I have got an opportunity so it’s time to get my head down and get stuck in.”

Harrison’s preparation for Sunday has been interrupted by the birth of his first child, a boy named Wolfe.

“I’ve been doing a bit of back and forth from Northampton but I’m pretty set on what I’ve got to do, and my missus has backed me so I’m preparing the best I can,” added Harrison.

Exeter boss Rob Baxter talks to the press after his team loses 34-37 against Saracens in the Premiership Rugby final at Twickenham.

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Forgotten England backrow rebuilt himself after Australian Test episode destroyed his confidence
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