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Harris: We're trying to drive connection to home

Back-to-back player of the year Tohu Harris has today been named the Vodafone Warriors’ new captain – and the club’s 12th in history – ahead of the 2022 NRL season.

The announcement was made at a special team event at the club’s 2022 base in Redcliffe this afternoon.

The 182-game veteran forward follows a line of long-serving leaders in Steve Price, Simon Mannering and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

“Being captain is our club’s highest honour and in Tohu we have a wonderful leader with all the qualities we were looking for,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

Being captain is our club’s highest honour and in Tohu we have a wonderful leader

Cameron George Vodafone Warriors CEO

“He stands out as a player of the highest class winning the Simon Mannering Medal in each of the last two seasons.

“Equally he has wonderful personal qualities. We know he will do a fantastic job leading the club next season and in years to come.”

Harris, who turns 30 on January 7, takes on the mantle of captaincy ahead of his 10th NRL season and his fifth with the Vodafone Warriors.

“It’s a huge honour but there’s also a big responsibility that comes with it, especially seeing the guys who have had the role in the past,” Harris told www.warriors.kiwi in an exclusive interview.

“The last three captains (we’ve had) Simon for a lot of years, Hoffy (Ryan Hoffman) for a year and then Roger for a few years. They (stand out) for the type of people they are, how hard they work and away from footy they’re really good guys, they’re easy to talk to and they’re genuine guys you can trust.

“I’ve taken that on board and I’m approachable but I’m also working as hard as I can to make myself a better player and trying to push players to do the same.

I want to make sure I do the role justice and take this club forward

Tohu Harris Vodafone Warriors captain

“I never looked at myself or imagined myself in the captaincy role. This wasn’t something I thought would ever happen. I want to make sure I do the role justice and take this club forward.

“We’re really trying to drive the connection to home. Whether you’ve been there or grown up there or haven’t set foot there before we want everyone in this club from staff to players and supporters to have a real connection to New Zealand, to Mount Smart Stadium and to the Pacific.

“I’m really excited about putting these things in place and driving that connection to home.”

Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown said Harris was the ideal choice as captain.

“While we have some strong leaders in our squad, Tohu brings so much to our team and to our club as the man to lead us,” he said.

“Everyone can see the standards he sets for himself and consistently achieves on the field but equally impressive is the way he handles himself away from the game.”

Harris becomes just the fifth Vodafone Warriors captain since 2005.

Price led the Vodafone Warriors in each of his 91 appearances for the club from 2005-2009 while Mannering was captain a record 136 times from 2010-2015 and Tuivasa-Sheck led the Vodafone Warriors in 104 games from 2017 until his departure this year.

CLUB CAPTAINS

 
1995 Dean Bell (#1)
1996 Greg Alexander (#7)
1997-1999 Matthew Ridge (#40)
2000 John Simon (#69)
2001 Stacey Jones (#24) and Kevin Campion (#86)
2002-2004 Monty Betham (#61)
2005-2009 Steve Price (#121)
2010-2015 Simon Mannering (#125)
2016 Ryan Hoffman (#195)
2017-2021 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (#203)
2021 Tohu Harris (#224)

TOHU HARRIS

 
Born January 7, 1992
Birthplace Hastings, NZ
Junior club Tamatea Sports Club
Position Loose forward/second row/prop
Height 195cm
Weight 112kg
Previous clubs Melbourne Storm (2013-2017)
First grade debut Melbourne Storm v St George Illawarra Dragons, AAMI Park, Melbourne, March 10, 2013 (Rd 1)
Vodafone Warriors debut v South Sydney Rabbitohs, Optus Stadium, Perth, March 10, 2018 (Rd 1)
Vodafone Warriors number 224
NRL career 182 appearances (2013-2021)
  Melbourne Storm: 117 appearances (2013-2017)
  Vodafone Warriors: 65 appearances (2018-2021)
NRL points 120 (26 tries, 8 goals)
  Melbourne Storm: 88 (18 tries, 8 goals)
  Vodafone Warriors: 32 (8 tries)
Representative 16 Tests New Zealand (2013-16), Four Nations (2014, 2016), Māori All-Stars (2019)