The Tumut Bulls could be calling on the services of former Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU) representative front rower, Rob Harris, as they prepare for the 2021 season.
Harris is aiming to return from a badly torn bicep that occurred during a game against Wagga Ag College in 2018, which kept him out of most of 2019, while 2020 was a write off due to him getting married, and the subsequent impacts of Covid-19 on the Riverina competition.
“I hurt my arm in 2018 and I played half a game of third grade in 2019 and couldn’t move my arm for a week after that, so I called it quits,” Harris said.
“I wanted to come back last year, but I got married in March, and by the time the season started because of Covid, I would have been trying to get fit for the rest of the season, so I left it another year.”
While the Bulls will be relieved to have another quality front rower return, the 32-year-old said his chances of playing the full season will depend on his arm and how it handles full contact.
“I want to test my arm out, and see if it holds up,” Harris said.
“If it does, I’ll play; It doesn’t bother me with work or anything, but it’s a different thing all together playing rugby.”
Regardless of whether he plays or not, the Bulls have a hard-working volunteer returning, with Harris keen to get back involved with the Red and Blacks.
“If it doesn’t hold up, I’ll help out around the joint,” Harris said.
“I’ve been there a long time, it would be good to go back, I’ve still got mates playing there and I need to get my fitness up with something away from work, so I’ll still train.”
The hooker, who debuted for the club in 2013, was disappointed to see the club miss finals in 2019 and 2020, and said ‘a fresh set of eyes’, in the form of incoming coach Ray Wells, would only help the Bulls.
“They need a someone from outside the club,” Harris said.
“It’s only been two years that we have struggled, in 2018 the first-grade side lost to Leeton by a point in the semi-final and if they won, they would have been getting very close to make the grand final against Waratahs.
“I’m confident we can get back there; we just need to work hard.”
Tumut Bulls president, David West, was tickled pink to have Harris returning to the club after a couple of seasons off.
“He is a trooper. He is just a real hard worker and a good footballer,” West said.
“What he does off the field is invaluable too, he does anything without moaning and most of the time without anyone even asking.
“He has won the clubman of the year award. He is a club legend.”
With Harris returning and a myriad of other big moves being made by the Tumut Bulls, the club is expected to see more players return to the fold ahead of a potentially big 2021 SIRU competition.