“It was a lot around my physicality in defence. To be honest, I have reviews with a fair few people and I have just worked it down to run harder and throw my weight around in defence, and be more physical. It’s pretty simple when you put it that way.
“I don’t read into it [early media hype] too much but, to be honest, I probably wasn’t training hard enough, and I think I have corrected a few of those bad habits and hopefully turned a corner now.
“So I have put my head down and had a solid couple of weeks back before the season started where I really worked hard, and I was proud of the work I was putting in. It has helped me on the field, but it’d be nice to win a few games.”
Harris said he was delighted to see his friends Bell, Wilson and McReight wear the Wallabies gold but definitely uses their progress as a gauge of where he should be, too.
“There were a lot of good players in that team and I am very close to many of them,” he said. “You can definitely use that as a marker.
“Belly has obviously gone on and played 15 Tests now. Wilso has done the same. Fraser is there or thereabouts in that Test arena.
“We had a great time over in Argentina [World Rugby Under 20 Championship] and we came really close [losing finalist by one point]and it is good to see those blokes have gone on and done well.”
Modern rugby players are monitored carefully by coaches in effort areas and get reviewed for everything they do – and don’t do – after a line break, both in attack and defence. Scrambling to defend or offer a support line in attack is expected.
Harris will have got a big tick for scoring against the Brumbies after bolting past defending backs to loom up and take a pass from Ben Donaldson. NSW coach Darren Coleman pointed out the play post-match.
“It is more of a mental thing really – as soon as there is a line break, you sprint,” Harris said. “It is more of a mental thing, as opposed to not being able to physically do it.
“There was one in the first half where [Charlie] Gamble made a break and I thought I was a bit lazy on my chase there.
“So when ‘Donno’ made the break in the second half I thought, ‘I had better get on my bike and get up and try and support’. Then he did a really good job to get the ball to me, and then it was like I was back playing under-8s. I thought I better pin my ears back and go for the corner.”
Watch every match of the Six Nations and Super Rugby Pacific on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport. Super Rugby Pacific continues this weekend with Rebels v Brumbies (Friday 7pm AEDT), Reds v Fijian Drua (Saturday 7pm AEDT), and Waratahs v Force (Sunday 1:30pm AEDT). All streaming ad-free, live and on demand only on Stan Sports†