Becoming Saints co-captain is so 'surreal' for happy Harrison

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Teimana Harrison believes becoming a Saints co-captain will drive him to even greater heights at Franklin's Gardens.

And the talented back row forward can't wait to lead from the front in the forthcoming campaign.

Saints have announced that Harrison and Alex Waller will share the role of skipper during the new campaign, with Dylan Hartley having stepped down as Waller's co-captain.

And Harrison, who was scouted by Hartley during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, and joined Saints later that year, is delighted to have been given extra responsibility at the Gardens.

"It's pretty wicked!" said the 27-year-old, who has made 132 appearances for Saints.

"Having come over as a young boy and seeing what Dylan had achieved and trying to follow in his footsteps, it's a massive honour to be able to lead the boys.

"It still hasn't sunk in. It will when we take the field.

"It was a pretty surreal moment when Boydy (Saints boss Chris Boyd) told me.

"I don't know what to say at the best of times but especially when it's a big surprise and there's a bit of pressure to talk.

"There won't be too many words from me, I'll just try to put it all out on the field.

"It's not an excuse to change me - it's just more emphasis on me putting my best foot forward and hopefully it will just drive my own performance rather than putting more pressure on me."

And Harrison, who will be a replacement against Leinster in tonight's pre-season friendly at Franklin's Gardens, can't wait to get stuck in as skipper.

"It's been a long pre-season," he said.

"You get a bit sick and tired of running lengths of the field.

"It's time to get back into it.

"We've got to get our learnings from Leinster, who are a very tough side.

"Even though they've got 17 internationals away, you can bet they will have a tough team out.

"We're looking forward to the challenge of that but also looking forward to getting our learnings out of it ahead of the game at Sale next Saturday."