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Former Carlisle centre is now a Briitish Lion PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Thursday, 06 May 2021

chris harris.pngCarlisle-born Chris Harris, who learnt his rugby at the Warwick Road club, has been selected for the British Lions tour to South Africa.

The 30-year-old Scotland centre – who qualifies through his Edinburgh-born grandmother – plays for Gloucester in the Gallagher Premiership.

In three years of international rugby Harris has represented Scotland 27 times and was one of the star performers in the Scots outstanding win at Twickenham earlier this year.

Harris started playing for Carlisle junior section at Under-7’s and moved through to the Colts before having two years in the first team.

Colts manager Phil  Healy said: “I was aware of him through the younger sides before he came tome as a Colt. He was mainly playing at fly-half then but I always saw him as a centre and eventually he made that his specialist position.

“When he left Trinity School and went to Northumbria University he couldn’t get a game with their second team, which shows how daft it is. That’s when he came back to play for Carlisle.

“I can’t say I would ever have said he would be a Lion but when I was talking to Newcastle Falcons I remember saying he was a player with great potential, and possibly could make an international.

“He is quite a character, a fun-loving lad who never lost track of the fact it needed hard work to advance in the game and that’s what he has done.

“His parents have always been very supportive of him. I actually used to play basketball with his dad Nigel and they will obviously be very proud today.

“I know everyone at the Carlisle club is thrilled and delighted at his selection for the prestigious Lions tour.”

Barry Earl, a former team-mate of Harris said: "Absolutely delighted for him. I played with him at Carlisle for two seasons and he was fantastic on and off the field."

Earl, a club official, also gave an early plug for the Lions series - "We will be showing all the matches in the clubhouse. Not to be missed." 

From Carlisle Harris was dual registered with Tynedale in National League One and also had a loan spell with Rotherham Titans in the Championship.

In October 2014, Harris scored a try on his professional debut for tNewcastle Falcons against Bucuresti Wolves in the European Challenge Cup and two months later scored two tries on his Premiership debut against Saracens.

After 77 appearances for the Falcons he moved on to Gloucester for the start of the 2019-20 season.

Harris had actually made his international debut for the England Counties XV against Belgium in June 2013 but in October 2017, Harris received his first call up to the senior Scotland squad by coach Gregor Townsend for the Autumn Internationals

He made his Test debut at Murrayfield against Samoa and started in the first Six  Nations game against Wales in 2018.


His first try for Scotland came in a game against Italy in the 2019 Six Nations, scoring just minutes after making an appearance off the bench and scored the winning try for Scotland against France at BT Murrayfield.

He appeared for Scotland in the 2019 Rugby World Cup fixtures and continued his form to play in every match for the 2020 Six Nations..

Harris played in all five matches of this year’s Six Nations, including stirring away victories at both Twickenham and in Paris. His performances, particularly his outstanding defensive capabilities, were widely-lauded and he was subsequently selected in the 37-man squad for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa which was announced today.

Outside of rugby Harris is a keen collector of maps produced during the Second World War and visits battlefields around Europe in his spare time.

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