Tyrone Green: I’m definitely not thinking about qualifying for England
JOHANNESBURG: New Harlequins signing, Tyrone Green, is confident Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will keep a close eye on him in England over the coming months and years.
Green, who grew up in Joburg and played for the Lions at all levels of the game, quit the franchise last month for a deal with the English club.
The 22-year-old, who was a star at U20 level, said on Thursday he was moving to England to grow as a player.
“I’m definitely not thinking about qualifying for England or anything like that,” Green told IOL Sport.
“My big aim is to play for the Springboks and I know it’s possible because coach Jacques Nienaber and Rassie (Erasmus, director of rugby) have said they will pick guys from abroad. It’s my big dream to wear the green and gold.”
The speedster, who is comfortable at wing and fullback, opted to cancel his Lions contract via a 21-day exit window brought about as part of SA Rugby’s cost-saving agreement following the spread of the coronavirus and the suspension of all rugby across the globe.
“I was looking to move overseas anyway, but the opt-out opportunity brought my decision forward,” explained Green.
“I feel I can take my rugby to the next level in Europe. Harlequins play a similar style to the South African teams so I think I’ll slot right in. Technically and tactically I’m hoping to improve in those conditions.”
He said he was looking forward to playing alongside veteran England star, Mike Brown. “He’s one of the guys I’m excited to play next to. He’s a seasoned operator, with tons of experience and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from him. I’m hoping to settle at fullback eventually; the position I like the most, but I’m comfortable on the wing, too; where I’ve played a lot for the Lions in recent times.”
Green said he was expected in England in July, but that depended on the borders opening and international flights resuming.
Green said the recent forced break from action - due to the pandemic - had been good for him, but he admitted he is now itching to get stuck-in again.
“I’ve had a good rest, but wow, it’s been tough, too,” he said.
“Life is very different now and will be changed going forward. I’ve stayed positive though, trained hard and stayed fit, but there’s only so much one can do in lockdown. Hopefully things will start changing though and it won’t be long before we’re playing again.”