Harris ready for five-eighth test
It's another week and another new position for Storm and Kiwis utility Tohu Harris as he gears up to partner Shaun Johnson in the halves against the Kangaroos on Friday night.
Harris has shared his time between the centres and the back row for Melbourne in 2016 and he said his mentality towards his flippant positioning will hold him in good stead at five-eighth.
Harris isn't the only one filling in the gaps for New Zealand. Usual Broncos three-quarter Jordan Kahu will don the No. 1 jumper while Sea Eagles utility Lewis Brown will run the show from dummy-half against Australia.
It won't be the first time Harris has partnered Johnson in the halves either. This time two years ago Harris did exactly that when he was a late inclusion in the starting team for Stephen Kearney's Kiwis.
"It's probably going to help me a lot," Harris said of positional inconsistency.
"It's a similar mentality that I have to head into this Test with, obviously just on another level.
"I have to be able to step up to that level and take those steps necessary to do my job at five-eighth. It's going to be similar to when I played there in 2014."
While he won't be the typical playmaker that would have been expected of the likes of Thomas Leuluai (hamstring), Tuimoala Lolohea (knee) and Kieran Foran (unavailable), Harris will do everything in his power to ease pressure on Johnson. Even if it means kicking.
"It's getting there," he laughed of his kicking.
"But the plan is for me to help out Shaun the best I can. We obviously have him there controlling the team and making calls so whatever is needed of me at certain times and in certain plays I'll have to step up there and do the best I can.
"Shaun's a great player and I've always enjoyed playing alongside him and this week will be no different."
Harris himself wasn't worried about the Kiwis' underdog status heading into their clash with a hungry Kangaroos outfit.
"Everyone is excited. We're playing Australia. Nothing is bigger than that and our confidence isn't an issue," he said.
"We're enjoying one another's company and loving the experience."
New Zealand centre Gerard Beale shared Harris's sentiment.
"It doesn't bother us the underdog stuff," Beale said.
"We're a big family here and we want to just play football and challenge ourselves against Australia.
"All the boys have gelled here really well and we can't wait to get up to Newcastle. We all know each other really well already."
Beale was a late inclusion in the team for Peta Hiku on Monday night after a nervous 24 hours waiting idly by.
"I guess you're always waiting for the call. The night before [Kearney] gave me a heads up so I had the phone sitting there all night and in the morning.
"Representing the Sharks at an international level is a big bonus so I'm really happy to be here."
This article originally appeared on NRL.com.