Jason Harries: How a west Walian came to score for Edinburgh against Scarlets

Jason Harries of Edinburgh takes on Scarlets defender Jonathan Davies
Jason Harries takes on Scarlets legend Jonathan Davies at Parc y Scarlets

The road from Carmarthen Quins to Parc y Scarlets is a well-trodden rugby pathway.

Ken Owens, Rob Evans, Will Boyd, Ryan Elias and James Davies are among current Scarlets who started with the Quins.

So nothing unusual about Jason Harries dashing over for a try in front of the Scarlets' faithful on Saturday in the Pro14 - except the fact he was playing for Edinburgh.

The Welsh-speaking 28-year-old wing's route to the spotlight has been more convoluted than his west Wales contemporaries, taking in Wales Sevens and London Scottish along the way.

Harries played age-grade rugby for Scarlets and was capped by Wales at under-18 and under-20, playing in the 2009 junior World Cup.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Scrum V Pro14 highlights: Scarlets 28-8 Edinburgh

"When I came back from the U-20 World Cup there was nothing at the Scarlets for me so I kept working hard with Quins and then Wales Sevens snapped me up," said Harries.

"I did three-and-a-half years there touring the world which has given me a lot in terms of my game."

Still itching to prove himself in the 15-man game, Harries joined London Scottish in the English Championship where he scored 22 tries in 45 appearances and earned himself a place in the rugby championship's 2016-17 team of the season.

Those performances caught the eye of Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill, with Harries being given a one-year contract and showing good enough form to have started all four of their Pro14 matches this season - including wins over Cardiff Blues and Dragons.

"Edinburgh were looking for a winger and Richard Cockerill gave me a chance," he added.

"I always wanted someone to just believe in me and then it's up to me to deliver in pre-season to show what I'm about.

"I've done that and he's given me the opportunity and we're four games in now and it's pleasing to start those four games.

"But there are about six or seven wings up there (Edinburgh) - really good players.

"So if you have a bad game someone else is coming in the following week instead of you."

Jason Harries scores a try for Edinburgh against Scarlets
Jason Harries' try against Scarlets was his first in the league for Edinburgh

His try against the Scarlets was in vain as Edinburgh - reduced to 14-men early in the second half - lost 28-8 against the reigning champions.

And even though Harries has played at Parc y Scarlets before - for Carmarthen Quins in a club match against Llanelli - he admitted it was a special occasion despite "a few boos" from a small section of the home crowd when he crossed just before half time.

"It's always nice to get over the try-line, and it was a special one obviously against my home region," he said.

"All week I was waiting for that team announcement especially for this game.

"It was one of those you were really looking forward to and relishing if I got the chance to play. It was a crazy week of emotions, but you've got to keep that in check when you come down here."

Parents 'at a relative's wedding'

The home crowd were briefly silenced as he crossed for his try, although he did have a small group of friends who turned out to lend their support.

"Fair play to them for turning up and supporting me, it was nice to get that support," he said.

But some of his fan club missed the homecoming, including his mother and father.

"My close family were at a relative's wedding," he laughed.

"Hopefully they watched it on TV at the wedding."

Top Stories