Samoa's CHT aims to sign off in style

November 16, 2022 03:02 AM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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As far as fairytale endings go, Samoa's Chanel Harris-Tavita couldn't have envisaged a better script than signing off by playing in this weekend's Rugby League World Cup final.

"It's not a bad way to get out," he said, ahead of their meeting with Australia at Old Trafford.

Harris-Tavita announced in May of this year that just over 50 appearances into a fledgling NRL career, he wanted to take a hiatus from the game.

The Samoan international told AAP back then that he needed to "grow some balls" and see what was outside the confines of rugby league.

But when the 23-year-old plays beyond this weekend's final is one of the great unknowns.

Harris-Tavita's last act may be one of his toughest, when he is likely to be named at hooker to face Australia.

He was forced there against England when Nu Brown suffered a first-half concussion, which is likely to rule him out of the final.

It's not his natural position but Harris-Tavita got through 65 minutes, registered a game-high 44-tackle haul and set up Stephen Crichton for the game-winning field-goal.

"My shoulders were gone, my legs were gone," he said.

"I'm not the shortest, it's a long way for me to get down and pass the ball.

"(Defence) that's definitely the hardest part.

"You don't get a rest like you do when you play on the edge and I was in the washing machine."

One thing Harris-Tavita did articulate when he announced his indefinite break was his desire to represent Samoa at the World Cup.

He didn't know how far Samoa would go or even if he would be in the team, but he now has the chance to sign off on a high.

"My favourite part of footy is bantering with the boys in the sheds during the week, getting a win (with a field goal over England) like that in that close of a game, that's just the icing on the cake," he said. 

"It was one of the best moments of my career. It'll be hard to top that.

"When I got picked in this team I was grateful I could play a few more games.

"I'm pretty happy to be playing one more."


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