Au­gus­tus to play his heart out


JU­NIOR SPRING­BOK No 8 Juarno Au­gus­tus says he wants to con­tinue “play­ing his heart out” as the team pre­pare to face Ar­gentina in their fi­nal roundrobin match of the World Rugby Un­der-20 Cham­pi­onship to­mor­row.

In their open­ing match against France, the Ju­nior Boks only man­aged a 23-all draw last week, but against Geor­gia on Sun­day they se­cured a 38-14 win over the hosts in fine style as Chean Roux’s team scored a few stunning tries.

Au­gus­tus was one of the guys who crossed the try line against the hosts, in fact, he has done so three times so far in the tour­na­ment – he scored one against the hosts at the week­end, and against the French, one of his two tries was the last-gasp five-pointer that lev­elled the score with France.

And de­spite be­ing in jointsec­ond po­si­tion on the top try scor­ers’ list in the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter the first two rounds, Au­gus­tus said the credit had to go to his team­mates.

“The tries were the re­sult of the team’s hard work, I was just the one who touched down the ball over the try­line,” said Au­gus­tus.

And now Au­gus­tus says he is en­joy­ing the hon­our of rep­re­sent­ing his coun­try for the first time.

“This ex­pe­ri­ence is very spe­cial,” said Au­gus­tus, who ma­tric­u­lated at Tyger­berg High School in Cape Town, alma mater of Spring­bok lock Eben Etze­beth and Spring­bok Sev­ens play­maker Justin Geduld.

“This is the first time I am rep­re­sent­ing my coun­try, so I am just try­ing to give my best and to play my heart out.

“It was very spe­cial to sing the na­tional an­them for the first time in an in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment; it was some­thing I will never for­get. I al­most had tears in my eyes.”

Like all of his team­mates, Au­gus­tus dreams of play­ing for the Spring­boks one day. And the 19-year-old, whose role model is Storm­ers skip­per and Bok loose for­ward Siya Kolisi, knows that he’s go­ing to have to keep putting in the hard work be­fore he can fol­low in the foot­steps of his idol.

“Ob­vi­ously I need to keep work­ing re­ally hard and I need to fix up the er­rors in my game. But if I give ev­ery­thing per­haps I will get the op­por­tu­nity some­day,” said Au­gus­tus.

“For now, how­ever, I want to just keep do­ing my best for the SA Un­der-20s and hope­fully we can ad­vance to the fi­nal of the Un­der-20 Cham­pi­onship. It has been an hon­our to work with coaches Chean, (Mzwandile) Stick and Louis (Koen). They are top qual­ity coaches.” Rain spoilt the French Open in Paris yes­ter­day. Some matches were com­pleted, like Latvia’s Je­lena Ostapenko beat­ing Den­mark’s Caro­line Woz­ni­acki, but Rafael Nadal and No­vak Djokovic’s matches were post­poned. BERNARD LE ROUX, could hardly con­tain his ex­cite­ment when he spoke about the prospect of play­ing against the Spring­boks.

The 28-year-old French flank ad­mit­ted fac­ing the Boks would be like a dream come true. “I’ve played nearly 30 Tests but I’ve yet to face the Boks. I’m so look­ing for­ward to it, what a chal­lenge. It’s just re­ally spe­cial,” he said.

The South Africa-born Le Roux is un­likely to make the start­ing team for this week­end’s first Test at Lof­tus Vers­feld, but he is al­most sure to be on the bench. He said the Boks, de­spite them win­ning only four times in 12 matches last year and the squad be­ing full of young stars, would pose a huge test for his side.

“They cer­tainly don’t de­serve to be ranked seven in the world. They’re a great side ... a Spring­bok team will al­ways be one of the best teams in the world. Yes, they didn’t have a good 2016 sea­son, but they have qual­ity

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