Junior Springbok winger Tyrone Green says the team has the goods to deliver a quality performance against Ireland in Narbonne on Sunday in their second pool match.
The Junior Springboks secured a 33-27 victory against Georgia in their opening game in Perpignan on Wednesday, and Green, who was one of the try-scorers in the match, echoed the coaches’ sentiments that they had to lift their game immensely.
“We didn’t start the tournament the way we wanted to,” said Green, who admitted it was a dream come true to represent the SA U20s at the World Rugby U20 Championship.
“We have two big games coming up (against Ireland and France in the pool stages), and we need to improve our performance drastically if we want to get through those games. We have all the ammunition to get the job done, but we need to produce a much better performance as a team.”
Despite the pressure, Green has taken a lot from his Junior Springbok journey, and said: “It has been exciting to be part of this squad. The World Rugby U20 Championship is a new experience for me and it is something I could not have imagined.
“I have always dreamed of being here and I have always pushed myself to get to this point. But it is now reality.”
Rugby may have played a big role in Green’s life from a young age, but he admits that he grew up in a passionate soccer home.
“My father played soccer as a youngster, so I grew up watching soccer, but we didn’t have it as sport when I was growing up, so I started playing rugby from the age of four years old,” said the former Jeppe Boys High pupil.
“Once I started playing, however, I loved it and I haven’t looked back. Rugby has been good to me and it has given me something to continue working towards.”
Green admitted that it took hard work over several years to reach this point, and said: “My work ethic is something I’ve prided myself on because I feel the harder one works the more you can achieve.”
Of the opportunity to work with Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux, Louis Koen, who is SA Rugby’s High Performance Manager and an assistant coach, and Bafana Nhleko, who he works with directly at the Golden Lions Rugby Union, the BA student said: “It has been a great experience working with this coaching team. As players we learn from them every day, and the mind-set on how they approach the game is fantastic.”
Roux will announce his team to face Ireland on Saturday.