Carlisle-born centre Chris Harris wants to help Scotland gain recognition as Rugby World Cup contenders.

The 28-year-old admits he has had to ride a wave of emotions recently. The former Carlisle Rugby Club man, who qualifies to play for Scotland through his grandmother from Dumfries, was relegated from England’s top-flight with former club Newcastle Falcons at the end of last season.

But Gregor Townsend’s decision to name him in his 31-man squad, who open their campaign against Ireland in Japan this Sunday (8.45am kick-off), gave him a boost.

"There is always a bit of worry while you wait to see if you are in the squad but, once I got the call to say I was going, I was absolutely delighted," he said.

"Was it a confidence booster? Yeah, massive - absolutely.

"I’m feeling so positive at the moment and just want to get stuck into the World Cup now. There was a lot of competition in the centres, but knowing that I’ve made it has given me a real boost.

"Starting against France in the warm-up games and scoring a try [in a 17-14 win last month] was a big moment for me, I feel like I’ve kicked on from there."

Harris, who signed for Gloucester in June, added: “Personally, I want to be starting games, to be the number one.

"With Scotland, I want to go as far as I can, to win a World Cup. The boys all firmly believe we can but, right now, we’re taking it one game at a time.”

England also begin their World Cup campaign on Sunday (11.15am kick-off) against Tonga, but Cumbrian Mark Wilson will miss the match due to injury.