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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Harris confirms code switch
Iestyn Harris in action for Wales against Italy in this year's Six Nations
Iestyn Harris is returning to rugby league after three years in union
Dual-code international Iestyn Harris has confirmed his intention to return north to play rugby league.

The former Leeds and Great Britain player switched to union with Cardiff and Wales three years ago.

But Harris has decided to trigger an opt-out clause in his contract to return to Super League.

In a statement, Harris said: "For primarily family reasons, I have reached the difficult decision to return home to the north west."

Oldham-born Harris has not revealed his destination, but is thought to have recently bought a house in Todmorden, on the Yorkshire-Lancashire border.

Although Leeds Rhinos have first option on his services, reigning Super League champions Bradford Bulls are thought to have agreed a three-year deal for the 28-year-old.

Harris issued the statement through his solicitor, spelling out his decision to quit the 15-man code.

I am also a better rugby player for my time in Wales
Iestyn Harris

"I have greatly enjoyed my time with Cardiff and Wales and am proud to have been part of rapidly improving teams at both levels," Harris said.

"I have no doubt that I am also a better rugby player for my time in Wales.

"I reached my decision a couple of weeks ago and, because I was due to go off on holiday, I asked my solicitor to speak to Wales and Cardiff whilst I was away.

"I did, however, manage to speak to (Cardiff Blues coach) Dai Young and inform him personally before leaving.

"I want to wait until we hear back from Wales and Cardiff before confirming my future plans, not least because I have had no personal issues with either.

"Once this process has been concluded, I'll be able to clarify what the future holds."

After early teething problems, Harris established himself in the Wales union team in time for the 2003 World Cup and finishes with 25 caps to his name.

However, a knee injury denied Harris a finale on Wales' current tour to Argentina and South Africa.




SEE ALSO
Leeds unaffected by Harris
10 Jun 04  |  London
Leeds fight for Harris
07 Jun 04  |  Rugby League
Ruddock accepts Harris move
07 Jun 04  |  Welsh
A dream unfulfilled
06 Jun 04  |  Welsh
Davies rues Harris' loss
07 Jun 04  |  Welsh


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