13 Jan 2012

Mike Harris hungry to replace Quade

5:21 pm on 13 January 2012

Despite not liking the treatment he saw New Zealand crowds give Quade Cooper at the rugby world cup last year, Mike Harris, the Queensland Reds' other Kiwi recruit, is hungry to follow his path.

Cooper's knee reconstruction has Auckland-born Harris savouring the chance to step up as the Reds' playmaker the next Super 15 season, when he's also determined to cap his trans-Tasman journey with an Australia Test call-up.

Eligible through an Australian grandmother, the 23-year-old utility back was a Super Rugby revelation for the Reds last year as a goalkicking inside centre before a knee injury hit in round 12.

He'll return to training in three weeks to start what shapes as a highly-competitive pre-season talent quest, where Harris heads a list of six contenders for the number 10 jersey.

Harris says he felt for Cooper at the World Cup where he was forced to play the villain as the Kiwis' 'public enemy number one'.