England captain Dylan Hartley said that he is extremely proud of Teimana Harrison for working his way up the ranks and being selected in the England run on team to take on Wales at Twickenham on Sunday.
Hartley told the England Rugby Podcast that he first watched Harrison a few years back when Harrison was playing 1st XV rugby in New Zealand.
From there Harrison joined Northampton's academy and has enjoyed a breakout season.
“I think it’s a hell of a story. Four or five years ago I saw Tei play 1st XV rugby. His coach asked me to come down and watch him,” said Hartley.
“He said that there was a young lad with an English passport, an English father who had expressed an interest to play rugby in Northampton and try and play for England one day.”
Hartley added that he knew Harrison had plenty of potential but he did not believe that he would make his national team debut at the young age of 23 this Sunday – get a free bet bonus here with Ladbrokes promo code for the game – when England clash with Wales.
“I could see him playing Premiership rugby but never, never, never did I predict he would be pulling on an England shirt at the age of 23. He’s come on leaps and bound in all walks of life and I’m really proud of him," Hartley added.
"I think everyone at Northampton and in Rotorua probably knew about his raw talent. It’s only this year though that the rest of the country has got to see it."