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