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.   

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
UNDER-20 WORLD CUP
MORE LOGS
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