Fisher-Harris mentally charged for finals

·2-min read

James Fisher-Harris claims he will enter the NRL finals mentally fresh after completing a 21-day return trip from Penrith's bubble to Sydney for the birth of his son.

Fisher-Harris will make his comeback for the Panthers against Wests Tigers on Sunday, after finishing a fortnight in quarantine in Brisbane.

The Kiwi's battle to be present for both the birth and Penrith's finals charge included several hurdles, initially fearing he may have to miss out on one.

As he, his partner Natalie, four-year-old daughter Tahira and week-old Deon were meant to fly to Queensland, a snap lockdown presented issues with them crossing the border.

"It was just pretty crazy to be honest," Fisher-Harris said.

"I wasn't really worried about footy to be honest, just more my partner and little ones. So that was my main focus, footy was in the background.

"We kept planning things and planning things but heaps of stuff kept getting in the way.

"But we found a solution. I ended up making the right choice and went back again. It turned out pretty good."

Fisher-Harris believes the break may be just what he needed.

Penrith's leader of the pack hasn't missed a game in three years and carries one of the biggest workloads in the NRL of all front-rowers.

Beyond that coach Ivan Cleary could see the weight lift off the 25-year-old's shoulders when a passage out and then back into Queensland was confirmed.

"I just didn't know what to do," Fisher-Harris said.

"It's hard with things in life like this, I just had to make a choice and I'm happy that I made the choice to go back.

"I was at peace with it straight away. It was just hard, not knowing all the possibilities that could happen."

Physically he's also not concerned.

Penrith were able to load him up with 400kg in weights as well as a bike, rower, treadmill, tennis balls for juggling and a reaction net for passing in his hotel apartment.

The Panthers were also able to give him last week off against South Sydney as they managed any fear over injury while he was slightly underdone.

"They really helped me out," he said.

"The body is feeling good and extra week training with the other boys has helped me heaps.

"I feel mentally fresher so that might give me a benefit."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting