Augustus living his dream in Tbilisi

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 10:34
Large juarno augustus junior boks try 800

INTERVIEW: Junior Springbok No.8 Juarno Augustus is living his dream at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he is enjoying the honour of representing his country for the first time.

Augustus, who started the tournament on a memorable note with three tries in the clashes against France and Georgia respectively – the second of which was the last-gasp try that allowed the team to secure a draw against France – is embracing every moment of participating in the U20 Championship.

"This experience is very special," said the 19-year old 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."

Despite being in joint-second position on the top try scorers' list in the competition after the first two rounds, Augustus said the credit had to go 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.

Unlike most of his teammates, Augustus had a slow start to his rugby career, as he started playing rugby at the age of 12. His highest achievement before being selected for the SA U20's was playing in the Under-18 Academy Week.

"I started playing rugby at the age of 12 years old for a local Eersterivier club called Whistling Wheels, and at junior level I made the Western Province U12 team," said Augustus.

"The next time I played at provincial level was in the U18 Academy Week, and after that I was invited to play for the Western Province Rugby Institute.

"I was actually first selected as a back as a youngster, with my coaches playing me either at scrumhalf or inside centre, and then I made the switch to a forward." 

Like all of his teammates Augustus, whose role-model is Stormers captain and Springbok loose forward Siyamthanda Kolisi, dreams of playing for the Springboks in future, and he says he will continue giving his best to achieve this goal.

"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 U20's and hopefully we can advance to the Final of the U20 Championship. It has been an honour to work with coaches Chean [Roux], [Mzwandile] Stick and Louis [Koen]. They are top quality coaches, who have coached at the highest level and they have added invaluable insight into the game for us all."

The Junior Springboks will face Argentina on Thursday in their final pool match at the Avchala Stadium. Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux will name his matchday 23 for the clash on Wednesday.   

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
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Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
England U20 3 3 0 0 14
Australia U20 3 2 0 1 10
Wales U20 3 1 0 2 6
Samoa U20 3 1 0 3 1
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand U20 3 3 0 0 15
Scotland U20 3 2 0 1 9
Italy U20 3 1 0 2 6
Ireland U20 3 0 0 3 2
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa U20 3 2 1 0 12
France U20 3 2 1 0 11
Argentina U20 3 1 0 2 6
Georgia U20 3 0 0 3 0