The front-row hooker has steadily climbed through the ranks since graduating from the club’s academy and has made enough of an impression to convince director of rugby Harvey Biljon to give him this big opportunity.
The former Les Quennevais pupil featured in the amateur Athletic side during the 2019-20 but has not been able to play any competitive rugby since due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, Biljon says Doolan has been working hard in training and fully deserves his chance to shine.
‘I just think this is a fantastic journey that Harry’s been on,’ said Biljon.
‘We recognised Harry’s potential of two years ago and fair play to him, he came in for a year there, just got exposed to the strength and conditioning, the previews and reviews and got the opportunity to learn the game as a young 17-year-old guy who, you know at the time wasn’t allowed to take on certain things because of his age. Last year we contracted him but we had the hiccups of Covid but he’s had to work his apprenticeship and learn the game.
‘Under Rob Webber he’s been given some decent guidance, being an ex-international hooker himself and he’s worked extremely hard this season,’ added Biljon. ‘He thoroughly deserves his opportunity and it’s so exciting to see a Jersey youngster come through.
‘We’ve been looking to identify the young guys with talents and give them an opportunity and the thing about this is, Harry’s worked really hard to achieve the suit.’
Doolan flew out with his team-mates to France yesterday afternoon and they take on the Pro D2 club tonight. This week’s new signing Max Ayling is also in the starting line-up. Kick-off at the Stade de la Rabine is at 7.30pm and fans can stream the game live via the Vannes Facebook page.
Line-up (1-15): Huw Owen, Harry Doolan, Jack Higgins, Max Ayling, Macauley Cook, Alex Humfrey, Lewis Wynne, Tim Grey, James Elliott, Brendan Cope, Will Brown, Dan Barnes, Jordan Holgate, Ryan Olowofela, Brendan Owen. Replacements: Jack Macfarlane, James Flynn, Eoghan Clarke, Ciaran Parker, Roy Godfrey, Zak Farrance, Sean O’Connor, Wesley White, Guy Thompson, Max Argyle, James Mitchell, Will Lane, Bader Pretorius, Jack Roberts, Scott van Breda.