RUGBY LEAGUE - DRAGONS
He's been on the fringes of St George Illawarra's NRL squad for a couple of years, but Nathan Green knows the most important month in his career will start in the Anzac Day blockbuster.
A surprise call-up to replace the injured Dylan Farrell (torn pectoral muscle) last weekend, Green will potentially face an Anzac Day baptism of fire against Roosters speed demon Michael Jennings on Friday.
Jennings wreaked havoc on the Dragons in the corresponding fixture last year - starring with two tries - and has less than a month to convince Blues coach Laurie Daley he deserves to retain his NSW jumper.
Green will be fighting to keep a jumper of an altogether different kind, just trying to add to his 14 NRL appearances since making his debut early in 2012.
"It's probably going to be a big next couple of weeks for me," Green said. "I've got to try to be consistent and get everything right, like my preparation and hopefully that can show on the field.
"If I keep doing my part for the team we'll get the wins and that's what it's all about. I know the boys talk about [Anzac Day] as one of the best games of the year. I would love to play in it and I think it would be a great occasion for any player."
The 22-year-old has patiently bided his time with the Illawarra Cutters in the NSW Cup this season, but got the jump on Charly Runciman and Peter Mata'utia after Farrell's injury.
The Dragons expect Farrell to be available at some stage later in the year.
Green said he felt the blistering opening quarter against the Warriors on Saturday night before forming a solid partnership with Jason Nightingale on the right edge.
"The first 15 [minutes] felt like it was an eternity out there it was that fast and compared to NSW Cup it's a different game of football," he said. "You've got to try to do your part and that was what I was trying to do.
"I've just been trying to play the best footy I can for the Cutters and waiting for an opportunity. It's unfortunate what happened to Dyl and he'd been playing some good footy too. Hopefully I can play some good, consistent football and hold my spot in the team until Dyl comes back."
The Dragons are expected to welcome back Joel Thompson (concussion) for the Anzac Day clash.
The Canberra recruit is another option for coach Steve Price in the centres.