Calum Green chats about his first appearance for the club since returning to Leicester over the summer, his no-nonsense approach to the game and why he is focused on seeing the club restore its tough reputation, as well as much more.
I’m not a massive talker, I just like to get out there and get on with it … hopefully I showed that tonight
Calum Green is glad to be back where the Norwich-born lock made a name for himself in the game.
He made his debut for the club as a 17-year-old more than a decade ago and, when asked about how it felt to be back at Welford Road in a Tigers shirt, Green gave a typically, modest response the second-rower is known for.
“It was quite a long time ago, the first one, so it's nice to be back and nice to get the win … that was the main thing for me,” he said.
“It’s nice to get the win but we need to build on it now.”
As well as the result, Green was pleased with the way the whole squad stuck together for the entirety of the match.
“There was a good balance out there, both the backs and forwards mucked in tonight to get the job done,” said the 29-year-old.
“That is what we have spoken about … we want to be hard to beat, hard to break down.”
However, again in typical Green fashion, words are only that if you don’t act on them.
“We want to be tough and have spoken about it a lot,” he added.
“But, it is only a word unless you go out there and show it.”
Green was a shining light in the win, not only in the tough stuff he is well known for enjoying but also his leadership at the line-out.
And, after spending a lot of the summer on the “nuts and bolts” of the set-piece, Green is happy to see some early signs of the hard work paying off.
“It is something we have worked on a lot during the pre-season,” he said.
“When you work on the real nuts and bolts of things, you see the pay off, so that was nice for us tonight.
“But, we still have a few things to tidy up.”
The former Tigers Academy captain was also pleased with early signs of a payoff for hard work made by the squad in coming together as one.
“We have spoken about being together as a unit across the board, as forwards and as a team … especially in defence,” he said.
“The lads have said it wasn’t like that last season, so this year we have made sure we are together as one through the good, the bad and the ugly.”
Green was one of four new recruits to make their first appearance of the new campaign and believes there is talent across the entire squad.
“When you look at the squad we have got, including the guys away at the World Cup, we have some fantastic players here at the club,” said Green.
“Last week [away at Worcester] was a good opportunity for younger guys … this week was a good opportunity for those boys with more experience.
“It was nice to get together and play after a long pre-season.”
We have spoken about being together as a unit across the board
The opportunity play again was even more positive for Green who, unsurprisingly, admits he is not a player who enjoys pre-season.
“Personally, I’ve been looking forward to playing again massively because I hate pre-season,” Green said with a smile.
“I don’t like running, I don’t like doing weights. I just like playing.”
When pressed on why, the Tigers lock didn’t need much time to ponder why.
“I guess I like the things in rugby a lot of people don’t like,” replied Green.
“I’m not a massive talker, I just like to get out there and get on with it … hopefully I showed that tonight.”
Tigers fans have seen many Leicester forwards achieve great things in Tigers colours with the same, no-nonsense approach that Green possesses and the second-rower is focused on helping the current crop reach those same heights in the “tough” way the club has built itself on.
“I was here for five years, this is where I learned by rugby trade and grew up around some real characters at the club,” recalled Green.
“That time was my apprenticeship, you could say."
Now, back in the red, white and green of the club he grew up dreaming of one day representing, Green says the squad is equally as focused on restoring that Tigers reputation.
“We want to get back to that way here at Tigers … being tough," he said.
“Maybe the club has lost it a bit and hopefully we can get back to it this season.
“Geordie said post-match that we are on the right track and, if we keep working hard, we can get to those places that this club and its well known, successful players have been.”