Adriaan to front up in Oz

2014-09-04 00:00

PERTH — Adriaan Strauss could almost be excused for thinking that he will be making his debut for the Springboks on Saturday.

After being included in the starting line-up for the Murrayfield Test against Scotland last year, it will be the first time Strauss has the number two number on his back when he runs out against Australia in this crucial Rugby Championship clash at the Paterson Stadium.

“I am very excited about the opportunity,” said the personable blond-haired hooker.

“Yes, it is indeed different to start the match instead of warming the bench. Your attitude is different, but you still have to focus, whether you are playing from the first minute, or whether you only run on the field for those last few minutes,” said Strauss at the Springboks’ hotel yesterday.

The Springbok scrum immediately improved after he was brought on as a substitute during the Test in Salta, Argentina.

“It was a few technical changes we had to make to correct things. We will have to up the tempo regarding our scrumming on Saturday.

“I don’t think it has been such a big problem in any case. We are highly motivated to get things right in the scrums against the Wallabies,” he says.

Even if the Wallabies have to use their fourth best hooker (James Hanson) as a result of injuries, Strauss cautions that it did not mean the Boks should be too complacent and think the going will be less tough.

“I have played against Hanson and he is a good scrummager. He will definitely keep me on my toes and I predict a tough duel against someone who wants to prove a point,” says Strauss.

“We should also not be fooled by the fact that we have beaten the Aussies twice last year.

“What happened in the past will mean sweet nothing on Saturday. It is a new match with new challenges and we will have to be focused to be successful,” says Strauss.

Does it not frustrate Strauss to play in the shadow of Bismarck du Plessis?

“No, Bissie and I have come a long way together from school days and we know each other very well.

“I can only do my best on the field and the rest [to be selected] is out of my hands.

“After a less successful Super season at the Cheetahs it is refreshing to be part of the Springbok set-up again and to work with them,” he admits.

Of the 36 Tests he has played Strauss has only started in 16 and he is keen to fully utilise this rare opportunity.

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