Topics: Rugby League, NRL

Melbourne Storm's Tohu Harris to play in front of home crowd against Dragons

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

In just over 24 hours, the Melbourne Storm will play the St George Illawara Dragons for the first time ever at McLean Park in Napier.

The match is especially meaningful for Storm player Tohu Harris, local lad born and bred down in the Hawkes Bay.

Te Kāea caught up with him today after he was named an ambassador for a local youth academy called Tū Ake.

The Melbourne Storm are coming off a huge win last week against the Panthers and they'll be looking to do the same this week.  It's a crucial game with only two points separating the two teams on the NRL table. However the Dragons will be ready.

Tohu Harris now a first grade league player for the Melbourne Storm, has the opportunity to give back to the community where he was raised through the next generation of leaders.

Harris says, “For myself it's inspiring to see that they're willing to help the community and I will do whatever I can to help them.”

Since making his club debut in 2013, he's gone from an impact player off the bench, to playing a full 80 minutes on the field.

“It's a role that I'm really enjoying.  It's hard work to get that spot.  It's even harder to stay there, so I have to continue to work hard,” says Harris.

Usually a second rower, he'll be playing in the centres as he plays in front of home crowd for the very first time, where his team will wear a special strip for the occasion that he helped to design.

The Melbourne Storm are coming off a huge win last week against the Panthers and they'll be looking to do the same this week. It's a crucial game with only two points separating the two teams on the NRL table.  However the Dragons will be ready.

Sitting in at ninth place, the Dragons need a win tomorrow night to help push them up into the coveted top eight.

Leeson Ah Mau says, “It's massive for us. We've just been focusing on ourselves and hopefully everything goes well on Saturday night.”

The Dragons were beaten by the Storm in round one and are coming into this game off the back of six straight losses.

Jason Nightingale says, “We’ve got most of our squad back fit now and that's a big part of it. But then also making sure that we maintain our defensive efforts that we pride ourselves on for a long time there.”

The Storm are in fifth place and a win should help solidify their top eight position, but as for tomorrow, it could be anyone's game.