Meyer: Strauss a great person

Adriaan Strauss (Gallo Images)
Adriaan Strauss (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has hailed would-be skipper Adriaan Strauss as a "great human being" ahead of their Test against Samoa at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Cheetahs skipper is on standby to become the 55th Springbok captain should Jean de Villiers not recover in time. De Villiers is still struggling with a sternum injury and will be given until Friday to prove his fitness.

Meyer said De Villiers only has a 50% chance of playing which will see Strauss take on the leadership role, something the coach is confident he will do with aplomb.

"When he joined the Bulls as a teenager straight after school, he held his own in big company and from that early age, I recognised he was a great human being," Meyer told the Cape Times.

"When I recruit players, I always first look at the human being and then the player, because you can teach a man to play rugby, but you can't teach him to be a human being.

"I look at characteristics such as integrity, leadership ability, mental toughness ... and Adriaan's always had all of those.

"I always knew Adriaan would be a world-class player, it's just a pity for him he had to stand in the queue behind John (Smit), Bismarck (du Plessis) and Chili (Ralepelle).

"And, as sad as I was to see him leave the Bulls, to return to the Free State, I think it helped his game in the long run. He's got regular game time in Bloemfontein and he's developed into an unbelievable leader."

Saturday's clash (17:15 kick-off)) against the Samoans is the final of the Incoming Series, with Scotland and Italy squaring off in the curtain raiser.


South Africa:

15. Willie le Roux, 14. Bryan Habana, 13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain) / Jan Serfontein, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Pierre Spies, 7. Willem Alberts / Siya Kolisi, 6. Francois Louw, 5. Flip van der Merwe, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16. Bismarck du Plessis, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Juandre Kruger, 20. Siya Kolisi / Marcell Coetzee, 21. Piet van Zyl, 22. Pat Lambie, 23. Jan Serfontein/ Juan de Jongh


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