Wales RL coach Iestyn Harris flattered by Cardiff Blues link

Wales rugby league coach Iestyn Harris says he is flattered to be linked with the role of backs coach at Cardiff Blues.

The Blues are looking to replace for Gareth Baber, who leaves at the end of the year.

Harris has been mentioned as a successor but the ex-Blues player says he is focused on the World Cup.

"It's pleasing to be linked but at this stage the World Cup is my priority," Harris said.

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As you progress through the coaching years and as you improve yourself you inevitably will get linked with certain jobs

Iestyn Harris Wales rugby league head coach

"What I'm concentrating on is the World Cup and we've spent a lot of time planning for the World Cup.

"It's important for me we prepare the team correctly and that's what we're doing.

"Any outside influence and any outside speculation is irrelevant to me at this stage."

Wales face Italy in their opening game of the Rugby League World Cup at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Great Britain and Wales rugby league international Harris switched codes to union in 2001 and spent three years in Wales playing for Cardiff, Cardiff Blues and the national side.

Harris won 24 caps for Wales' rugby union side and played at the 2003 Rugby World Cup before returning to rugby league in 2004.

After retiring from a playing career which took in spells with Warrington, Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls, Harris switched to coaching and was in charge of Crusaders in Super League.

As well as being Wales' head coach, Harris is assistant coach at Wigan Warriors and is pleased with how his coaching career is progressing.

"As you progress through the coaching years and as you improve yourself you inevitably will get linked with certain jobs," Harris added.

"Hopefully my progression is heading in the right direction, which I believe it is."