Harris hangs up boots to coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harris hangs up boots to coach

15/10/2009 08:12:53 AM Comments (0)

Former rugby league and union international Iestyn Harris on Wednesday announced his retirement as a player after his appointment to the coaching staff of Celtic Crusaders.

The 33-year-old Harris is to be full-time assistant to new head coach Brian Noble and elected to stop playing after Featherstone agreed to release him a year before the end of his playing contract there.

"I certainly won't be playing from now on," said Harris.

"I've had a great career and really enjoyed it, but you've got to move.

"I felt pretty fresh as a player but I think this is the right decision."

Harris, who had six years in rugby union with Cardiff and Wales, was linked with a move to the Crusaders when they landed a place in Super League 12 months ago.

"To be involved in a Welsh team in Super League is pretty special," he said.

"I spoke to them last year but I didn't think it was right for me at the time. But I got really excited about Brian's plans with the Crusaders for the next two years and I felt I could add something to that.

"This was the first-choice job for me to start on the coaching ladder, and in the long-term I aim to be a Super League head coach."

A month ago, Harris was promoted to head coach of Wales, succeeding Australian John Dixon, and he says the posts are complementary.

"They work hand-in-glove," he said.

"I'll be able to keep a keen eye on all the young Welsh talent that is coming through."

The Welsh face England on Saturday in his first match in charge.

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