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Hartpury clash a family first for Harris-Wright brothers

Bristol Rugby’s opening game of the new Championship season will be a family first for brothers Jason and Jonny Harris-Wright, as they prepare for their maiden competitive fixture working on the same side.

Between them, Jason – who starts Sunday’s clash with Hartpury at hooker – and Jonny – first team strength and conditioning coach – have racked up more than ten years in professional rugby, but never at the same club and the duo admit Sunday will be a proud moment for the Harris-Wright family.

“Unfortunately the family won’t be able to make it, but they’ll definitely be watching it on television,” said Jonny.

“They’ve been massive supporters of us all through our lives; when we were little kids they used to drive us to all of our games, so this will be a massive moment for them to see us working together.”

Bristol Rugby hooker, Jason Harris-Wright (JMP UK).
First team strength and conditioning coach, Jonny Harris-Wright (JMP UK).

Brothers wouldn’t be brothers without a healthy sibling rivalry and the Harris-Wright’s say their relationship is built upon competitive foundations. But beneath the competition, Jason’s arrival in the West Country, where his brother has been since 2013, has allowed for an increase in quality family time – and they’re not sick of eachother yet.

“I have to see him a little bit more, but it’s been great,” said Jason.

“I can bounce my ideas off him, which I did when I was in Ireland pretty much most days, but it’s nice to have him here just to be able to chat about anything I need, on or off the field.

“Jonny’s been in London or Bristol for the last few years and I’ve been in Dublin or Galway, so it’s great to be able to work together now and have his family and his two small kids here.

“It’s great for me to have them just down the road and it makes it a bit easier for our family to come over.”

“We obviously had our fights and argued about stuff, but overall we got on quite well. Unfortunately, he always used to hang around with my friends, so I couldn’t get rid of him. But looking back, we got on pretty well.”

Jonny Harris-Wright, Strength & Conditioning Coach

Jonny is three years older than Jason but admits the dynamic has somewhat changed over the years - certainly from a physical point of view.

“Things have shifted over the years because I was always the bigger and stronger one growing up so most of the time I won, but that has kind of changed,” he says.

“We obviously had our fights and argued about stuff, but overall we got on quite well. Unfortunately, he always used to hang around with my friends so I couldn’t get rid of him, but looking back, we got on pretty well." 

One thing that hasn’t changed is the giving of orders - and with Jason working under Jonny’s rule as soon as he sets foot in the gym; it’s impossible to escape his older brother’s authority.

“It’s probably no different from the last 27 years of my life,” says Jason.

“He bosses me around all of the time anyway, whether it’s on the field or off the field. It’s probably a pretty normal feeling for me.”

“I think being the older brother, that’s a natural thing,” adds Jonny.

Sunday's match is pay on the day, with tickets also available online and over the phone. To purchase on the day, call Supporter Services between 10am-1pm, or visit the Matchday Ticket Office - adjacent to the Atyeo statue - from 10am.