ST GEORGE Illawarra’s “Green Dragon”, rookie centre Nathan Green, says he’ll recognise a long-cherished dream if he gets to play alongside Matt Cooper before the end of the season.
As the joint venture’s season continues to encounter rough seas, 21-year-old Green says better times are ahead given the quality of players coming through.
But his more immediate concern is getting onto the field alongside his hero, 34-year-old Cooper, who is currently battling a toe injury which has delayed his decision on a possible retirement.
“I’d love to play a game with Coops – I haven’t played one with him yet,” said Green. “I’ve always filled in for him, it would be good to play one game with Coops.
“The last couple of seasons, during pre-season, during the season, during games at halftime, I’ve always asked for his advice – what he sees out there because he’s got such great knowledge and he’s done everything in the game.
“He’s played for NSW and Australia. It would be stupid not to listen to such a great player.”
Pressure is mounting at the Dragons after a heavy loss to Sydney Roosters in round 17.
“You try and block it out but it’s hard – every time you put the red V on, you know how passionate these fans are,’ he said.
“They’re used to success. There’re a lot of young blokes coming through now. Hopefully they can be patient and they know that in a couple of years’ time … we’ll be better for the experience.
“We’ve got to keep trying hard at training, competing and hopefully the results will come.
“Jack De Belin, Jack Stockwell, Trent Merrin’s only young, Cameron King, Charly Runciman … we’ve got some good young players.”
Runciman’s ascention allows Green to play on his preferred right side.
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK