Chris Harris insists he will never turn down a Scotland call-up despite not featuring for the national team since the Rugby World Cup, but revealed he has not spoken to head coach Gregor Townsend recently.  

Harris established himself as a mainstay of Townsend’s team during the Covid-affected years, his defensive nous earning the Gloucester man a place on the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.  

In the past 18 months, he lost the number 13 jersey to Huw Jones, who returned to Glasgow Warriors rejuvenated after a season with Harlequins and with a new freedom under Franco Smith.

Jones' partnership with Sione Tuipulotu has blossomed since, confining Harris to a bit-part role.

READ MORE: Time running out for current Scotland squad to win trophy, admits Sione Tuipulotu

He played just twice at the Rugby World Cup, and those games against Tonga and Romania won’t have been the matches Harris planned on featuring in.  

Scotland Rugby News: Chris Harris crosses in the rout of Romania at the Rugby World CupChris Harris crosses in the rout of Romania at the Rugby World Cup (Image: PA)

But he said the door will never be closed – at least from his perspective.  

He said: “I’m never going to turn down international rugby.  

"I still feel in a good spot and believe I can do a job at Test level, so if needed then I’m still around.” 

Harris then revealed he hasn’t talked to Townsend about the possibility of going on Scotland’s summer tour.

That is not unexpected, given the centre is now 33 and Townsend has made public his plan to use the summer trip to give young players an opportunity.  

READ MORE: How do Scotland move on from Six Nations mediocrity?

He added: “I’ve not had too much communication from Gregor. I’ve had a bit of chat from Steve Tandy, but my understanding is he [Townsend] doesn’t have loads of communication with everybody.  

“Ultimately it’s just down to performing well for your club and if it gets to the point where I’m selected, they’ll give me a buzz.” 

The former Newcastle man, who made the switch to Gloucester in the summer of 2019, has plenty to occupy his mind. Not least this weekend’s Challenge Cup final and the threat of a Sharks side laden with World Cup-winning Springboks.  

He insists the Cherry and Whites are “raring to go” after signing off a disappointing domestic campaign with a 54-14 win over his former side on Saturday.  

“We’ve got a pretty good feel about what we expect them to bring,” he said of the Durban franchise who beat Edinburgh on their way to the final.  

“They will be ready for it. I’m sure their coaching team and leadership team will be gearing them up for a physical encounter.  

"I think it’ll be like a Test match, but we’re prepared to fly into it on Friday night.” 

Scotland Rugby News: The Sharks celebrate their semi-final win over Clermont AuvergneThe Sharks celebrate their semi-final win over Clermont Auvergne (Image: PA)

As well as finishing the season with a trophy, success at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday would be the perfect send-off for Adam Hastings, who will leave Kingsholm to return to Glasgow Warriors.  

Harris revealed he tried to convince the fly-half to stay, but said he understands why Hastings, son of Gavin and nephew of Scott, has decided to return to Scotland. 

READ MORE: Adam Hastings signs up for Glasgow Warriors return

The centre added: “He lived with me for the first year he was here. He promised he would look for houses and that he was going to move out.  

“He’s been great and he’ll be missed as a player and a bloke, not just by me. He’s a bit of a glue between the different age groups – he's of an age that he speaks to the older guys, but he also gets on well with the young lads.  

Scotland Rugby News: Adam Hastings will return to Glasgow in the summerAdam Hastings will return to Glasgow in the summer (Image: SNS)

“He’s got a vision of going back up to Glasgow, playing some good rugby there and competing for the Scotland jersey.  

“I was pushing him to stay with us, but he’s made his decision." 

Harris admitted lifting the Challenge Cup trophy would be a perfect send-off for his midfield mate.  

He said it would also give George Skivington’s side more encouragement to take from their turbulent campaign, in which they won the Premiership Rugby Cup.  

"We will have achieved something if we win on Friday, and that’s massive going into next season,” he added.  

“I think we deserve something like this after what’s been a challenging year.  

“For the club too, we’ve not won anything like this for a long time, and we’ve not won two trophies in a season for even longer, so it would be massive.”