Harris preparing for Storm farewell

Harris preparing for Storm farewell

Melbourne Storm back-rower Tohu Harris is soaking up every minute of grand final week before his impending move to the Warriors at season's end.

‌The 25-year-old announced his departure from the club in January in a bid to move back home to New Zealand and link with former Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney.

Harris has endured a difficult road in 2017 to get back into the Storm line-up – plagued by foot and shoulder injuries, and a stint in the Intrust Super Cup for Melbourne's feeder club the Falcons.

With the limelight surrounding halfback Cooper Cronk in his final game in club colours, Harris admits the reality of his own looming departure is yet to sink in as he chases his first premiership title on Sunday. 

"I've been asked a fair bit about it, but haven't been able to think about it too much," Harris said.

"My focus has been on the game but later on in the year I'll sit down and look back."

While Sunday's NRL Telstra Premiership grand final has been dubbed "Melbourne's to lose" by many, Harris knows the effects of last season still linger within the playing group. 

"It's something we can't take for granted, we don't know if we'll ever be back in this position again," he said. 

"This week is different with all the media commitments but in terms of preparing for the game, we can't treat it any differently, but for what it is.

"You've got to be able to deal with that, but the other team is doing all the same as well."

Storm coach Craig Bellamy couldn't have asked for a more well-timed return from Harris at the backend of the season, with the emergence of Felise Kaufusi on the right edge proving the perfect replacement for ex-Storm forward Kevin Proctor. 

Melbourne's forward pack will face a task the Sharks, Eels and Roosters have all struggled with this finals series; stopping Cowboys lock-forward Jason Taumalolo.

Both Harris and Taumalolo are teammates at international level and Harris conceded there was no stopping his go-forward in a game.

"It's exciting to see them do so well and playing against Jase a few times now," Harris said. 

"He's a great player and is someone you can't stop – you just have to limit as much as possible.

"We're playing against a tough opposition that deserve to be there and have great players that we'll try to figure out how to limit best we can."