An Unwritten Story: Chanel Harris-Tavita On Life After Footy

Chanel Harris-Tavita still doesn’t know what he wants to do next year, other than that there will be no rugby league involved and more time will definitely be devoted to his love of writing.

Having made the decision in May to step out of the competition at the end of this season, the 23-year-old is still figuring out what the post-NRL version of himself will look like.

He’s been inundated with questions, advice, and cautionary tales from all quarters since he made the news, but has never doubted that he’s doing the right thing during it all.

“The way I see it is I’m the only person who needs to understand my decision, and I know deep down it’s the right decision for me,” Harris-Tavita told

I know that the people closest to me understand where I come from. I don’t really need to convince other people why I’m making this decision.

Chanel Harris-Tavita

“In the end it’s in my best interest and I’m doing what’s best for me.”

The fair decision

Throughout his time in rugby league, Craig Hodges, the general manager of football for the Warriors, has seen many players continue long after their hearts have left the game.

He said the fact that Harris-Tavita was honest enough to recognize the need for change and then act on it speaks to his character.

“I have no doubt that at every club there are a lot of guys in our game who play because they can make more money doing this than anything else,” Hodges told

“They may not necessarily like competition and they may not necessarily enjoy what they do, but they happen to have a talent for it and it’s their career.

It took incredible strength for a young man of [Chanel’s] age to be able to say ‘this is not what I want at this stage of my life’.

Craig Hodges
Warriors General Manager Football

“You could call it brave, but I think honesty is the key. He’s very honest with himself.”

Harris-Tavita adds that he’s lucky enough to be in a position where he can afford to sacrifice the financial security that would have come from signing a new deal, and if he gets the itch again, he is confident he can return to the NRL.

“I’m blessed to be in the position that I am, to step away from the game and pursue something different,” he said.

“I’m taking a break, I’m not retiring. If I want to come back in two or three years, I’ll feel young enough to get myself back in shape.

“Maybe I’ll never come back, that’s the reality.”

Harris-Tavita scores a try that has to be seen to be believed

New interests

When the pandemic gripped Australasia in early 2020 and the NRL Telstra Premiership was suspended, Harris-Tavita, like many players, suddenly had an abundance of free time to spare.

At this point, he started keeping a journal and became more interested in reading about personal growth and self-development, which eventually led to him starting his blog. where he reviews books and gives thoughts on various topics in which he is interested.

“I would like to keep writing. I will try to invest a little more time in that when I stop playing football,” Harris-Tavita said.

“I now have a few subscribers and they send me emails every now and then to thank me and ask questions, and I’m happy to answer them.

“I will pick up other hobbies along the way. I’m not too sure what they are yet, but that’s the exciting thing for me, stepping back from what I know and stepping into the unknown.

“I hope to travel a bit. I’ve always wanted to go to America just because Home Alone was one of my favorite movies!

“I will definitely spend some time with family until December and from January I will go with the flow.”

His Legacy in the Competition

The Warriors knew right away that they had something special with Harris-Tavita.
He got his first start in the National Youth League on his 17th birthday, the very first day he became eligible to play, and almost exactly three years later he made his NRL debut in 2019, already a familiar face in the wider area. first class group.

“There are three tiers that determine when you come back in the preseason each year, depending on how much you’ve done. I think I’m almost at the top level and I haven’t even played 50 NRL games yet,” said Harris-Tavita .

“I started training very young with the first-class squad… it feels like I’ve been doing it for ages, much longer than I’ve been doing it (in reality).

“I’m looking forward to a break…I’ve had quite a few surgeries, so I’m looking forward to resting my body and not having to carry 110kg of props every week.”

Great attempt: Harris-Tavita’s ridiculous kick

But that’s not to say he doesn’t have high goals for the rest of the year, and it’s clear that the Warriors still see him as a key figure for this season.

That point was best illustrated during last Sunday’s homecoming game against the Tigers, when interim Warriors coach Stacey Jones pulled Harris-Tavita out of position at short notice as fullback for the club’s most important game of the year.

He rewarded that confidence with a strong showing, including a try, 153 meters and some great defensive plays.

“It was a bit of a no-brainer getting him back there…. I thought he was excellent,” Jones said of Harris-Tavita’s performance.

“He made a big decision” [for next year]But part of that decision was to make sure he’s committed for the rest of this year.”

Garner makes the break, but Harris-Tavita saves the day

Harris-Tavita has also set his sights on World Cup success at the end of this season with Samoa, which he has represented in two Tests so far.

“I would love to go to the World Cup and give it a red-hot crack… I think if we get a fully and fully fit team, we will be a contender for the World Cup,” he said.

“That will be a good way to end the year and then maybe the end of my career, who knows.”

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