Prop forward Jonny Harris and Wing/Full Back Joe Luca Smith have recommitted to the Scots ahead of the 2018/19 Greene King IPA Championship campaign.
Ex-Leicester Tiger and London Irish prop Harris has put pen to paper on a new deal to stay at the Richmond Athletic Ground for next season.
27 year old Harris has made thirty five appearances for Scottish in his two seasons with the club. A prop with proven experience, he will add much needed quality to the Scottish front row next year.
Harris is happy to be staying in South West London, “I am delighted to have re-signed with London Scottish for another twelve months. I’ve really enjoyed my two years here so far. It has been a tough season for the club on the pitch this year but I am looking forward to finishing the season on a high and helping the club push up the table next year.”
Harris grew up in Norfolk and earned England Under 19 honours whilst playing at the Tigers before moving to London Irish in July 2013.
Director of Rugby Dave Morris was very complimentary about Harris’s extension for next year. “Jonny is a valuable member of this London Scottish squad and we are very happy that he is staying with us for next season. He brings a lot to the squad both on and off the field. He is a fantastic forward at set piece, he helps to supply the solid foundation London Scottish are looking for. He is an important member of this squad moving forward and the experience he brings from his time with Leicester and London Irish is invaluable.”
Morris stated how Harris had some time out with injury this season, “Jonny suffered with a neck problem in the middle part of the season but worked really hard with our medical team to get back to fitness and it’s awesome to get him back into the side over the last month or two. Hopefully he can stay fit next season and he can continue to be a cornerstone in our side.”
Also joining Harris next year is back three player Joe Luca Smith who has also signed on the dotted line. Comfortable at either full back or on the wing, Smith arrived from Newcastle University on trial this summer and was given an opportunity to stay with the club this season.
After a hamstring injury ruled him out for the majority of the first half of the season, Smith has been slightly more of a regular feature in the starting lineup in 2018.
Dave Morris explained how Smith came to his attention in the Summer. “Joe Luca is a real success story for London Scottish. He wrote a letter to the club which found its way to me. It deserved a followed up so I spoke with a few coaches who had coached him and they all felt he had potential. A conversation with Joe Luca reinforced that ambition and I felt he was very self-aware which for me is a key quality.”
Morris continued to say how Smith has had to be patient this season, “Joe Luca has been a sponge learning from more experienced guys in the squad like Nick Scott and applied himself really consistently to the process. With the quality of players in his position he has had to be patient for his opportunity but through this time he trained consistently well. When he has had his opportunity, he has taken it, no more so than on Saturday against Rotherham in his Man of the Match performance at fullback. I think Joe Luca will be a key player for us next season.”
The 6ft2” flyer has been in good try-scoring form this season, scoring five tries in just nine appearances including one last weekend against Rotherham Titans.
Smith is thrilled to be staying with Scottish for his second year. “I am very happy to have re-signed with Scottish for next season. The club gave me an opportunity this summer after graduating from University and I am very grateful to them for that. I have absolutely loved being a part of this group, it is just a shame some of the results this season have not gone our way”
Smith continued to say how he took time to settle into a new environment but it is eager for next season. “I took my time finding my feet at this level, especially after my injury but now I am really looking to push on and want to help the club move on up the Championship table next season.”