BROK Harris could have been on a beach after a nightmare campaign with the Dragons were it not for the annual chaos in Welsh rugby. Instead, the prop is preparing for the final of the United Rugby Championship at a packed Cape Town Stadium.

It was only last June that the 37-year-old, with some reluctance, brought an end to a wonderful career in Wales with a 143rd appearance in the Rainbow Cup defeat at Leinster.

The front rower was a mainstay of the Dragons pack over seven seasons and was just as influential off the pitch.

Yet there was no contract offer on the table as the end of the campaign approached, with boss Dean Ryan blaming uncertainty over his budget and the need for younger players to push on.

Harris, who was Welsh-qualified on residency, took control and decided that he would head home to South Africa with wife Madelein and children Divan, Lara and Reuben.

After years of playing his heart out in a struggling team, one of rugby’s good guys has got what he deserved.

Harris is set to be on the Stormers bench for the URC final against the Bulls on Saturday (kick-off 6.30pm), providing the back-up to Springboks loosehead Steven Kitshoff.

South Wales Argus: Dragons great Brok Harris, now back at the StormersDragons great Brok Harris, now back at the Stormers

“I will always be grateful to the Dragons and I made some special memories there but I am in a way better place now,” said the front rower, who got his rousing Rodney Parade farewell when in the winning away team in October.

“One door closes and another opens. At first I was just going to play for the Stormers in the short-term while being a scrum consultant.

“Things changed quite quickly and it has been amazing – I never thought when heading back to South Africa from the Dragons that I would be playing in a final.”

In fact, it is Harris’ first final since winning the Currie Cup with Western Province in 2014 shortly before heading to Wales to join Lyn Jones’ side.

It is testament to the prop’s durability as well as ability that he is a survivor from the Stormers’ 2010 loss to the Bulls in the final of the Super 14 in Soweto.

The Dragons were never contenders in the league but Harris was twice a European Challenge Cup semi-finalist in 2015 and 2016.

South Wales Argus: UPSET: The Dragons' South African contingent of Sarel Pretorius, Rynard Landman, Carl Meyer and Brok Harris after the win at GloucesterUPSET: The Dragons' South African contingent of Sarel Pretorius, Rynard Landman, Carl Meyer and Brok Harris after the win at Gloucester

Now he is 80 minutes away from having a winner’s medal placed around his neck.

It is a remarkable turnaround for Harris personally and for the Stormers, who are on a 10-game winning streak that claimed the South Africa Shield.

“This is why we play the game, for play-offs, quarter-finals, semi-finals and to win trophies,” said Harris, who made his Stormers debut in 2007 and brought up a century of appearances this year.

“It has been an amazing journey for us over the last couple of months – our team spirit on and off the pitch is clear.

“You can see that we are playing for each other and we are in a good space. That has earned a home final, it’s unreal and so exciting.”

Harris was a main man at the Dragons over seven campaigns but is happy to play second fiddle to the influential Kitshoff, who stayed on into the 70s in the quarter-final win over Edinburgh and dramatic last-gasp triumph against Ulster.

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Stormers and South Africa prop Steven KitshoffINFLUENTIAL: Stormers and South Africa prop Steven Kitshoff

“My aim coming back into the Stormers set-up was just to contribute,” said the veteran, who has made 18 apperances this season on both sides of the scrum and doesn’t intend to hang up the boots just yet.

“I wanted to almost be like a mentor to the young guys, helping them with my experience. It’s just good to be involved and to guide some of the younger guys in what has been an amazing season.

“Steven is a great leader, captain and rugby player so my mindset is to contribute however I can – I need to make it count whether it is five minutes on the pitch, 10 minutes or more.

“I am just so grateful that I have had the opportunity to come back to the Stormers and play in a final.

“I’ve got some nerves and that is good – if I didn’t have any then I’d know it’s time to stop playing.

“A north-south derby is massive and throwing a final into the mix makes it even bigger, it’s a chance for us to write a bit of history.”

Harris’ seven whole-hearted seasons at the Dragons means the Stormers are guaranteed Gwent backing this weekend.