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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 October, 2003, 06:01 GMT 07:01 UK
Harris targets Canada

By Iestyn Harris
Wales international

I don't mind admitting that I'm very excited - as are all the Wales boys - and eager to be unleashed on the World Cup.

Steve Hansen won't officially name the starting XV against Canada until Friday, but I'm certainly hopeful of being handed the shirt!

It's been so long since beating Scotland at the end of August that I can't wait to get back on the field on Sunday.

I thought that Ceri Sweeney and I combined well against the Scots and hopefully that might persuade the coach to start with us again.

Ceri is a very different type of No 10 to Stephen Jones and both have their own particular strengths.

But whichever one plays, I know he will do the job for Wales to make sure we start our campaign with a win.

Iestyn has given Wales' preparation a big thumbs up
I'm definitely staying in union

Steve Hansen has been open that he wants to use all 30 players in the squad for the pool games, so if you do get the nod early you have to play well to keep your place.

One thing we must expect from Canada is pride, passion and committment - it can be their biggest asset but it can also be their downfall if they let themselves get carried away.

We've got some Canadians in the Blues regional side, and they all have a tremendous will to win and a love of playing rugby that we must match.

I certainly still have my appetite for rugby union, despite rumours to the contrary!

There was speculation last week that I was about to quit Wales and go back to rugby league.

But as far as I'm concerned I will remain a union player for the remaining 18 months of my contract, and maybe beyond.

I've got nothing to hide so I can reveal that I was contacted by a league club, who put an offer on the table - but I've always been contacted by clubs.

It was a reasonable offer that I had to consider for the sake of my family, but after a meeting with the Welsh Rugby Union and Cardiff Blues I'm definitely staying in union.

The WRU has been incredibly professional in its dealings with me, which have all been up front and personal.

At no point did anybody suggest that my wages should be cut, or try to alter my existing contract.

While certain people were trying to cook up a storm back home, we were competing in the kitchen in Canberra.

The apartments we are in are so much better than staying in a hotel, as the extra space allows us to unwind much better and enjoy a bit of privacy.

We also cook several nights a week and the boys have turned it into a competition by marking each other out of 10.

My room-mate Martyn Williams is more than handy with the pans, while my fajitas got the thumbs up - but I think Gareth Thomas' home-made pizzas could have the edge!





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Harris eager to begin
26 Sep 03  |  Wales


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