- Leicester host Bristol on Saturday
- Harrison has over 100 appearances for Tigers
Sam Harrison carves up Aviva Premiership defences for his day job but in his down time the Leicester Tigers scrum-half prefers a different type of carving.
The 26-year-old has recently turned his hobby of woodworking into a business – ‘Harrison Made’ – which began in his shed at the bottom of the garden.
The No.9 – a product of John Cleveland College and Hinckley RFC – creates unique ‘handcrafted, irregular goods from the tree’ including skateboards and chopping boards.
'I make little chopping boards and bottle openers'
What was once just a hobby has mushroomed for the scrum-half into a potential post-retirement plan.
“Basically I got married last summer instead of a guest book I thought I would make a skate board out of wood for people to sign,” he said.
“I made it out of oak and everyone signed it. I enjoyed it and I used to skate board so made one for myself.
“After that I thought I would try and sell them so made a few more and some people wanted them.
“I make little chopping boards and bottle openers, anything to focus on away from rugby.
“It’s (signed board) up in my workshop at the bottom of my garden it’s nice to have some time on my own and make some stuff.
“It’s something a bit different and something I have surprised myself with honestly.
“Hopefully it will go on to something. I really enjoy it but to be fair if it’s a skill I can get and make it into a business that’s something I am going to do. Obviously rugby is the primary thing but it’s something to look at when you retired you never know when that’s going to be.”
The skateboarding scrum-half
Growing up in Cornwall, skateboarding was always a passion for the scrum-half.
But as his career began to progress – Harrison has appeared for England at U16, U18 and U20 age groups and made his Tigers debut in the 2008/09 season – he has had to hang up his board for obvious reasons.
“There’s not many skateboarders in the Tigers team. It’s more something I have tried to keep separate because it's something away from rugby but some of the lads are interested,” he added.
The process. pic.twitter.com/NAlT46p1Vn— Harrison Made (@harrison_made) January 25, 2017
“My friends did it growing up doing in Cornwall and it's something I have always had an interest in.
“I thought it would be a good idea although I can’t do it anymore I fall off too much and don’t think the boss would be too impressed if I broke anything.
“I do the art for them as well, that’s something I have always enjoyed doing, it’s nice hobby. Painting and engraving on them you can sort of do anything you want if they don’t get bought I can display them in my house.”
Focused on rugby
Made using fine, responsibly sourced timber, Harrison Made’s first promo video is now available online.
But while the business is taking off, for now Harrison’s focus remains firmly on the Tigers’ challenge in the league.
Last week’s 34-9 win over Gloucester means they sit fifth in the table – five points off the semi-final positions in the top four.
Harrison has made four league starts and eight appearances off the bench in the league as he battles England’s Ben Youngs for game time in the No.9 shirt.
But after scooping the 2014/15 Players’ Player of the Season award, Harrison will have a key role to play in the season run-in.
Turned the corner
Next up Bristol come to Welford Road and the scrum-half is confident the Tigers have turned the corner after a poor Christmas period saw Richard Cockerill leave the club.
“I think it’s just the tiny bits of the game that have not gone our way, our basic skills have not been on it which comes down to concentration,” he added.
“There are 101 things we can improve but I am sure every team can do that. It’s easy to get carried away with things we are terrible at, but we’ll take each game as it comes.
“We have not had results on the road. We need to win and we have to win home games.
“At the same time we can’t rely on all our home games and think it will see us home, we need to pick up results away from home.”