Harry Potter has been in Perth since August and already suited up in the Western Force colours a handful of times, so it’s easy to forget he’s yet to make his Super Rugby debut.
The 26-year-old utility back switched to the Force from English club Leicester Tigers last year, impressing in the Toyota Challenge against the Cheetahs in August and September.
After a strong pre-season with his new teammates, Potter backed that up with the opening two tries in last Saturday’s 21-19 pre-season trial win over the Queensland Reds.
Potter’s form has got Force fans excited about his potential Super Rugby impact in 2024, while he’s excited about playing in front of the passionate Sea of Blue.
“I’ve had a few glimpses of how good the fans are over here,” Potter said. “I’m expecting there’s only going to be more over the next few weeks and Round 1 in a few weeks’ time.”
Prior to the Force’s Round 1 home clash at HBF Park against the Hurricanes on Friday 23 February, the WA side face the Brumbies on Saturday from 5pm at Revo Fitness Stadium in Claremont in their final pre-season trial.
The game also doubles as the Club’s annual Fan Day with the Club throwing the gates open, with entry free of charge.
“It’s free entry on Saturday, fans will also come down for Fan Day,” Potter said.
“We’re all excited to get a good crowd and see the Sea of Blue again in 2024.”
Fan Day includes a range of family-friendly activities such as face painting, inflatables, food trucks and more, while players will be available for autograph and selfie opportunities, including all playing players with ‘Fans on Field’ post-game.
Potter will likely be a popular figure among the supporters, already creating a cult following given his namesake from the world famous J.K. Rowling novels.
London-born Melbourne-raised Potter, who was born six months before the first of the seven books was published, shrugs of the topic although he does cringe at the continual puns and headlines at his expense.
“I wouldn’t say sick (of them),” Potter said. “I’ve had a fair bit of it and I don’t really mind it, I think it’s quite funny myself - a bit of original content would be nice, but I don’t see that around the corner anytime soon.
“Everyone’s gone a bit earlier than I’d have liked, but there’s plenty of work to do on the Harry Potter puns.”
In the midst of pre-season it’s unclear where Potter will be deployed upon the season proper, with the capability to play centre, wing and full-back.
With competition for spots tight among the Force backs, Potter is happy to play wherever needed.
“It’s probably fortunate that I can play a couple of different positions,” he said. “I’m really comfortable and happy playing on the wing where I can.
“I’d love to step into other positions as well. If I’m needed on the wing, I‘ve played a fair bit of rugby there in the last couple of years, I love playing out there.”
On the topic of last weekend’s win over the Reds, where the Force started and finished strong, Potter added: “As you’d expect some good, some bad, plenty to work on.
“We learned a lot of lessons, saw some things that we can do really well and then learnt that we didn’t see a lot of ball and didn’t actually get to attack as much as we’d like.
“Definitely some work-ons with how we can do that more and how we can do better when we do have the ball.”
The game will not be streamed so fans are encouraged to attend with free entry or follow @WesternForce on Twitter for regular updates.