Chris Harris travels to London for Newcastle Falcons’ Premiership 7s finals tonight, with the bigger picture firmly in his mind, having only just returned from an eight-month lay-off.
The Cumbrian was one of the players of the round on Saturday night, as the Falcons won all three of their qualifying games in front of more than 7,000 fans in Darlington, and will again be on hand at the Twickenham Stoop when Newcastle try to regain the trophy they last won in 2011.
Harris, who was dual-registered with Tynedale last season, but will spend the coming campaign at Championship club Rotherham, has been sidelined since Christmas with shoulder problems, but is confident he is over the worst.
A full-back in 15s and a forward in sevens, he said: “The sevens has been really useful for me personally because it is my first run-out on a rugby pitch since December, when I had my shoulders done.
“It certainly tests out your fitness levels, and will be a good indicator of how my pre-season has gone. I am just looking to getting stuck into some games, and helping the boys however I can.”
Having shone in qualifying action against Leicester, London Welsh and Sale Sharks, he will be part of the squad lining up against Newport Gwent Dragons in this evening’s quarter-final at the Twickenham Stoop, which kicks off at 7.15pm.
Harris said: “Finals night will be another step up. It is going to be really tough down there.”
The Falcons make the trip without Sean Brown, Simon Hammersley and Lee Smith, who were all called up to the Falcons’ senior squad for last night’s friendly in Bayonne. In their place come James Christie, Glen Young and Scotland hooker Scott Lawson.
NEWCASTLE FALCONS: T Catterick (captain), J Christie, A Davies, C Harris, S Lawson, B Morris, S Robinson, D Temm, B Tuilagi, C Willis, Twilson, G Young.