Scotland’s Harris targets revenge against Boks

Scotland’s Chris Harris is relishing the prospect of facing South Africa again after tasting defeat by Springbok hands during this year’s British & Irish Lions tour.

The centre was one of eight Scotland internationals involved in the Lions’ 2-1 series loss in South Africa in July and August, with Dark Blues coach Gregor Townsend and defence chief Steve Tandy among Warren Gatland’s backroom staff.

“I’d love to get another crack at the Springboks,” Harris said  on Wednesday. “Losing the third Test was obviously a disappointing finish to an amazing tour, so to have another opportunity to play against them will be amazing.

“I’d like to think what I learnt about South Africa in the summer can help me this weekend … Gregor and Steve were involved as well, so I think we’re pretty ready with regard to what to expect this week.”

Scotland beat Australia 15-13 at Murrayfield this past Sunday, a day after the Springboks launched their European tour with a 23-18 win over Wales at a rain-swept Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

“They’re obviously a decent outfit and they had a hard-fought win over Wales recently, so it’s going to be a tough test,” said Harris, who plays his club rugby at Gloucester in the English Premiership.

“It will be slightly different to what we faced against Australia but we’ve got enough experience in the squad and the right coaching group to put us in a good place for Saturday.”

Scotland, who had away wins over England and France in the 2021 Six Nations, host Japan, who beat them at the 2019 World Cup, on 20 November.

“There’s a great deal of confidence in the squad,” said Harris. “We’ve obviously had a pretty decent last 10 months where we’ve been really starting to perform.

“That, coupled with various boys going away on the Lions tour and getting experience from there to bring into this campaign, has been massive.”

Townsend is due to name his side to play South Africa on Thursday, with the Springboks having already announced their team.

© Agence France-Presse

Photo: EPA/Luigi Bennett

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