Jason Harries has expressed his gratitude and pride after he was named in the Cardiff starting XV to face Vodacom Bulls in the BKT United Rugby Championship today - his 50th appearance for the club.
The giant wing took an unconventional route to the pinnacle of the professional game in Wales. He come through the Scarlets academy was plucked from Carmarthen Quins by Wales Sevens where he spent several years on the world circuit.
He then turned his attention back to full XV rugby and enjoyed stints and London Scottish and Edinburgh before joining Cardiff ahead of the 2018-19 season.
That long route to the Blue and Black of Cardiff, has made Harries even more grateful to hit half a century and he admits running out at Loftus Versfeld will be a proud moment for the entire family.
He said: “I’m enjoying it. Playing with these boys week in, week out is really enjoyable and we’re playing some good rugby as well.
“I’m proud to reach fifty and it’s a milestone I’m very grateful for as well. Reaching 50 caps for this region and club is an honour for me and my family. There’s a lot that goes into it and I’m just really grateful.
“I started with the sevens and always wanted to give fifteens a go. I was very grateful how things have worked out and it shows that if you keep striving for what you want, you will get there in the end.”
Today will be Harries’ sixth consecutive start for the club and he was overjoyed to play his part in last weekend’s impressive 35-0 victory over Cell C Sharks and Kings Park, Durban.
Cardiff became the first Welsh team to triumph on South African soil in the URC, having already downed reigning champions DHL Stormers at the Arms Park.
Harries believes confidence is building in the Blue and Black ranks but he is well aware that the Bulls present an even greater challenge, bolstered by the return of their Springboks and playing at altitude.
He added: “It was a great win for us and we spoke after the last block about how far we had come. We had a pretty decent start and to then go three or four weeks without a game, only a friendly to keep up our fitness levels, then we came out here with a plan and strategy and it worked.
“The manner of the win as well was excellent. We felt right from the warm-up right until the end of the game that we were really on it To score 35 points out in South Africa against a South African team is a great achievement
“It’s the unseen efforts that can create big moments and a to of those big moments came from them (working hard off the ball). That last play as well, where we kept them out and won a penalty on our own goal line to keep them scoreless shows a lot of character.
“It’s going to be a different challenge from last week, they (the Bulls) are a formidable team. Especially on their own patch it’s going to be a tough ask but we’re in a good place. We’re growing in confidence and we have to take it into this week.
“It would be massive for us if we can take some more points from this weekend. We have five points in the bag but that’s done and dusted now. We’ve had a big week and we are looking forward to the game and taking it to the Bulls.”