Tohu Harris spent the first five years of his career able to defer to the big three at the Melbourne Storm and “just play footy”, but now he must find his voice as one of the more experienced heads in a young Warriors team.
Dubbed “Big T” by teammate Blake Green, he was one of the Warriors’ marquee off-season signings alongside the likes of Adam Blair and Agnatius Paasi.
The Hastings-born back-rower enjoyed the luxury of playing in one of the most steady systems in the Telstra Premiership under the tutelage of the Storm’s Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and coach Craig Bellamy.
Now, Harris finds himself in a much more inexperienced team and a new role – and he is ready to step up.
“Leadership, that’s something I am really trying to do, yeah,” Harris said.
“We do have guys like Simon Mannering, Blake Green, Adam Blair and Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck). So we have experienced players across the field who we can all lean on but I am trying to take a step forward in a leadership sense.
“That starts with myself. Making sure I’m doing all the little things right. If I’m not playing well I feel like that’s not leading.”
With 117 first-grade appearances, Harris is one of the more experienced players in the club’s new-look pack.
In Melbourne, he played mostly on the right edge – and outside his fellow Warriors recruit Green for two seasons.
He was quick to heap praise on his former Melbourne teammate before the pair’s first outing as Warriors this Saturday against the Gold Coast Titans.
“Blake and I are pretty used to each other. I know what I’m going to get out of him. He’s a very consistent player you know you are going to get a guy who will compete and does what he says he will. I’m really looking forward to the season with him in control.”
Even though Harris said coach Stephen Kearney was yet to lock down where he wanted to play his new recruit, he was happy to slot in wherever he was needed.
“We are not too sure what side I will play on just yet. We are playing with a few different things at the moment, a few combinations, we’ll just have to wait and see how things develop,” Harris said.
“We have had a really good pre-season so now it’s time to turn our attention to Saturday.”