Calum Green says the competitive environment at Leicester Tigers is pushing every player to improve.
A former Tigers academy captain, Green returned in 2019 with the benefit of a decade of senior experience and has now topped 50 appearances for the club.
After the win over former club Newcastle Falcons on Sunday, Green reflected on the two seasons since re-signing for the club and progress under head coach Steve Borthwick.
“I think everyone is just trying to improve all the time. In the environment we are in, that’s what is happening,” he said.
“You can’t just sit back and think you’re safe and going to be picked every week. Every week is a challenge.
“They keep me on my toes and push me every week.
“Harry Wells was man of the match [against Newcastle] and Tomás Lavanini is an experienced international player. We’ve got a lot of good players.
“For me, it is about keeping my head down and working hard and that’s it.
“It’s been a funny two years. Coming back to a club that means a lot to me was brilliant. We can see where we’re going and it’s great to be part of that. We want to keep building and get the club back to where it wants to be.”
Green’s role in the second row means he rarely hits the headlines, but that is not something that concerns him.
“I’m not someone who is particularly flash, or one of those players that people look at and think ‘he’s brilliant’,” he says.
“I think I work hard, do the basics well, work hard in set-piece and around the pitch. We’ve got other players that can do the other special bits.
“You’ve got to win your set-piece, have a good maul and when you get that go-forward you can start doing your plays out the back.”
With eight wins from the first 15 rounds of the Gallagher Premiership before switching to the European Challenge Cup this weekend, the 30-year-old Green adds: “We’re definitely improving. We just need to be constantly the best we can be.
“It’s an improvement from where we were and where the club has been the last two seasons. Everyone can see we’re heading in the right direction. We have to keep challenging ourselves and try to get better each week.”