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Harris stunned by All Blacks call

12th May 2014 19:06

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Rapid rise: Nathan Harris

Chiefs hooker Nathan Harris admits to being 'shell-shocked' as his meteoric rise continues after being named in the All Blacks squad.

The world champions face England in a three-Test series next month, with Harris part of the squad alongside hookers Keven Mealamu, Dane Coles and Liam Coltman.

The 22-year-old wasn't even in the Chiefs wider training group but has impressed in recent weeks, starting against the Lions and Blues.

A product from Bay of Plenty, Harris revealed how he tried to keep the new quiet after hearing about his selection following the win over the Blues.

''I actually found out through the Chiefs squad on Friday night after the game [against the Blues in New Plymouth],'' Harris told the Waikato Times.

''It was pretty cool to be announced in front of friends and family at the Chiefs.

''After the game, I was pretty shell-shocked to be honest. I had to sit down for a wee bit. All the boys got back on the bus and my father was waiting outside for me, and I said 'Oh dad, I've been named in the All Blacks squad'. And he was pretty shocked.

''I've sort of been keeping it pretty quiet, I had a family function down in Taranaki after the game, so I just sort of let some of the immediate family know, and sort of kept it under the hat. But obviously a few people have told other people, and word gets around.''

Harris admitted while the desire had always been there to represent his country, his immediate focus had been on performing for the Chiefs.

He was also aware that if he wants to win a Test cap ahead of the Rugby World Cup next year, the hard work starts now.

''It's always in the back of your mind, you always want to be an All Black. I was just more concentrating with the Chiefs and getting a bit more game time and getting a few starts under my belt," added Harris.

''I know that I've got a lot to work on, just making sure I'm doing those extras. I'm keeping my head down and my feet grounded, so if I do get an opportunity, I'll be definitely grabbing it with both hands.''

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