Young Waratahs star Will Harrison inks new contract to lock in long-term Super Rugby future
A prodigious schoolboy talent, Harrison signed his first professional contract with the NSW Waratahs in 2018 and has been a part of the NSW Rugby pathway dating back to his days at Marcellin College.
Since captaining the Australian Schoolboys, Harrison has gone onto excel at youth international level, playing a pivotal role in the Junior Wallabies side that made the final of the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championships.
Since that time, Harrison has become a mainstay of Rob Penney’s side, starting in every fixture both before and after the enforced COVID-19 break – with 14 appearances across the continental and then subsequent domestic competition.
Harrison has amassed 126 points during that time and proven himself to be sharp-shooter in front of goal, falling agonisingly short of Peter Hewat’s club record for most consecutive conversions (18).
NSWRU general manager of rugby, Tim Rapp said that securing Harrison’s future at the Waratahs was an important part of the club’s overall roster strategy.
“We’ve made it no secret that we’ve wanted to secure Will on an extended deal, he’s an integral part of our squad and leader within our next generation of Waratah,” Rapp said.
“Will has developed and grown through our pathway over several years, to see him establish himself at Super Rugby level is really pleasing – he’s an impressive young guy with a bright future ahead of him and we’re excited that’s here in New South Wales.”
NSW Waratahs head coach, Rob Penney said he was pleased to see his first-choice playmaker staying in sky blue.
“Will’s been outstanding in what’s been a pretty unique first season in professional footy,” Penney.
“The quality of his character has shone through in what’s been a challenging time for our game as a whole, handling himself exceptionally both on and off the field.
“He’s so dedicated to improving himself as a player and we’ve seen that through the way he’s developed over a short space of time at Super Rugby level.
“In such a difficult position to play he’s shown us his decision-making ability, temperament and his physicality – he doesn’t shirk any of his work out there which has been positive to see.”
Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson said: “Will is a terrific young man and is developing into a fine player as well. He’s had a good year steering the ship at the Waratahs for this season of Super Rugby AU and he will be better for it.
“I’m really excited in our next crop of young talent. They’re mature beyond their years but they are also fully aware that they need to continue knuckling down and working hard if they want to reap the rewards.”
Harrison said he was pleased to have his future secured and remain a Waratah.
“It’s [first season] been a really enjoyable experience for me personally, finding my feet in the squad, understanding my role and contributing to the direction we want to go as a team,” he said.
“I’ve had great support from my family, senior players and our management which has allowed me to focus on my own game and adapt to Super Rugby.
“To make my debut this year and become a Waratah has been a dream for me and I’m really thankful to the many people who have helped me get to this point.
“I’m really excited to have my future locked in here and continue that journey over the next few seasons – there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
– Waratahs Rugby
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