Featherstone-bound James Harrison follows in father’s footsteps

James Gordon

Featherstone have signed Batley back-rower James Harrison for the 2019 season.

Harrison, 22, has made more than 60 Championship appearances and is the son of former Great Britain prop Karl Harrison, who made 114 appearances for Featherstone during his playing days.

He said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge of stepping up to a big club like Featherstone, who play in front of big crowds.

“I’m really just looking forward to getting stuck into preseason now.

“Whenever Featherstone come to Batley their fans make it feel like a home game for them, so I’m really looking forward to playing in front of them every week.

“I’ve had three good years at Batley, particularly taking on Super League sides in The Qualifiers.

“I learned a lot, especially under John Kear in that first year, but I feel like I’m ready to move on and test myself at a bigger club now.

“Coming from a rugby league family means I’ve played it all my life, but I’ve always wanted to make a career off my own back, rather than through my dad’s name.

“His career went up another level at Featherstone though, so I think this is an area where I could follow in his footsteps.”

Harrison came through the Bradford academy and had a brief spell on loan at Oxford in 2016.

Featherstone coach John Duffy said: “James is a player who we have been looking at all year.

“He’s very capable in the back-row or down the middle and we know he can do big minutes for us.

“He comes from good stock and just wants to progress in his career.

“I’m looking forward to a big preseason from him and him adding value to us.

“He’s got a big future ahead of him. Quite a few clubs were after him and we’re lucky to have got his signature.

”There was competition from a club in The Qualifiers, but we’ve been looking at him for a long time and are very pleased to have him coming to Featherstone.”