One foot in coach pond, one foot in player pond works for Stormers veteran prop Brok Harris

Brok Harris after a United Rugby Championship game for the Stormers

Brok Harris after a United Rugby Championship game for the Stormers. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Apr 4, 2023


Cape Town — At the ripe age of 38, Stormers and Western Province stalwart Brok Harris is still relishing the challenge of giving players almost half his age a battle in the scrum with no plans to pack away his rugby boots just yet.

Harris played in his combined 251st match for the Stormers and Province this past weekend when he came on as a replacement in the Champions Cup against Harlequins, and for WP in their Currie Cup match against Griquas.

He tasted success with the Stormers in the early kick-off but was unable to get a second win in the blue and white Province jersey.

It was a definite first in the Cape where a prop played for two different teams and in two different positions on the same day. He was a loosehead on the Stormers' bench and switched to tighthead for the second game.

"Never in my life did I think I would come back (to Cape Town) and play my 250th and 251st rugby game for the Stormers and Western Province on one day," Harris laughed.

"I'm blessed and thankful I received this opportunity to do it. It's always tough to lose in a Western Province jersey but we have these youngsters picking up experience while we are building a team.

"The win with the Stormers was obviously a very good one."

Harris, who was a stalwart for the Dragons in Wales as well, came back to the Cape with the idea of building his coaching credentials.

But a prop crisis in their first season of the United Rugby Championship (URC) left the Stormers little option but to rope him in.

He was brought in as a player-coach so that he could learn while playing but has been playing more than coaching. But, with so many youngsters playing alongside him, he's picked up invaluable coaching experience while winning a URC title and still competing for Champions Cup honours.

"I like the coaching side of rugby and at the moment I have one foot on that side, and one foot still playing. It's good because I can give that experience back to the younger guys.

"It's a good learning curve for them and me."

John Dobson, the Stormers and Currie Cup coach, praised Harris for what he is doing for rugby in the union.

"He is probably one of the greatest Province men in living memory."


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