Strauss determined to leave SA

Hendrik Cronjé

Bloemfontein – Richardt Strauss has said he sees his rugby future in Ireland, and not even an invitation to the planned Springbok trials later this year in Port Elizabeth will convince him otherwise.

The Southern Kings want to play a Premier XV in Port Elizabeth on 4 June. The Premier XV will include several overseas-based Springboks, as well as South African players like Strauss that are starring in European leagues and the Heineken Cup.

Strauss and Schalk Brits are deserving of invitations, but Strauss told Sport24 on Tuesday that he would not do anything to jeopardise his chances of playing for Ireland one day.

The 24-year-old brother of Springbok centre Andries Strauss will qualify to play for Ireland in November 2012.

He played for the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup final against the Blue Bulls in 2009.

Irish rugby writers and supporters have been very excited about the hooker’s form - in 2010 he was named Leinster’s player of the month for September and October.

It is an achievement considering that top players such as centre Brian O’Driscoll, lock Nathan Hines, flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, prop Heinke van der Merwe and wing Isa Nacewa play for Leinster.

“I have a good opportunity here that I did not get in South Africa. I have committed myself to playing here and am very happy.

"If it goes well and I get to play for Ireland, I will consider it a big honour and privilege. I will grab the opportunity and do my best to stay in the team in such an event,” said Strauss.

His older brother, Andries, earned his Bok colours at the end of last year.

“Andries’s Bok colours are something special for our entire family. After Atter (Adriaan Strauss, hooker) he is the second one in our family to achieve that. I am delighted, especially as he was unlucky not to play for the Sharks more often.

“It just shows that he is a guy who stuck to his task, kept working and stayed positive. His success was not a bigger motivation for me as I have always wanted to play at the highest level.

“Hopefully my dream comes true. If we are fortunate, we may still play against one another in a Test. That will be something special. But all that is still just a dream. It will require hard work from my side to turn it into reality.”
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