Sioned Harries: Wales great hopeful of playing club rugby again

Sioned Harries has represented Wales at four Rugby World Cups and 10 Six Nations championships
Venue: Go Media Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland Date: Friday, 3 November Kick-off: 06:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on S4C, commentary on BBC Radio Wales Extra, BBC Sounds and BBC Sport website, plus live text updates and match report on BBC Sport website and app.

In a year in which Wales women bid farewell to gamechangers such as Caryl Thomas, Elinor Snowsill and Siwan Lillicrap, there is one member of the legend club still going strong.

Sioned Harries turns 34 this month, but shows no signs of letting up as she prepares to run out for her 76th cap against Australia on Friday.

Perhaps even more more impressive is that Harries has kept at the top of her game despite being one of only a handful of players in Wales’ current squad without a professional contract.

It is a decision that is purely hers as she balances working as a full-time teacher at Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera while making regular appearances as a television pundit.

It is enough to make the most energetic of people want to lie down, but for Harries it is what she loves.

“It’s been a long couple of years for me personally with regards to the balance of work and rugby,” she said.

“Coming off Six Nations and then straight into the World Cup, then the new cycle of the Six Nations before coming into this tournament [WXV].

“I’m really enjoying it and obviously the support we have here in camp, they’re striving to get the best out of me as well.”

Harries is currently without a club having left Worcester Warriors after five seasons earlier this year.

Six of her international team mates have also found themselves in a similar position after the cash-strapped club folded just a few games into this season.

Harries said she had “no plans as of yet” with regards to finding a new club.

“Obviously I do need a club to play for when I return, but again my focus is on the WXV.

“When I go home I’m going to take a break, a little bit of time out to focus back on work, reflect on the last couple of years and then hopefully I’ll get the chance to play rugby again,” she said.

Physically though, Harries admits she is “in a good place” having spent her summer holidays being put through a rigorous pre-season with the Wales squad.

She even had a glint in her eye when the possibility of making a fifth World Cup was mentioned.

Harries made her tournament debut against this weekend’s opposition [Australia] in 2010, before playing in the 2014, 2017 and 2021 (played in 2022) tournaments.

The next World Cup will be staged in England in 2025, a lot closer than the 11,000 mile trip Wales have made to New Zealand twice in as many years.

“I’d love to make a fifth World Cup,” said Harries, “but I also want what’s best for the team, so if I’m performing in two years then yes, we’ll see.”

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