Strauss ready to lead Boks

Adriaan Strauss (Gallo Images)
Adriaan Strauss (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss says he is ready to take over the captaincy if he gets the opportunity in the Test against Samoa at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

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

“Hopefully he (De Villiers) will be fine, but if I get the opportunity, I will be ready for the captaincy. It is a massive honour,” the 28-year old said after the team announcement on Wednesday.

“It has been a good year for me thus far. I must say it is actually unbelievable to think that I could get an opportunity to captain the Springboks. As a young boy I dreamt of maybe becoming a Springbok one day. This exceeds my wildest dreams and it will really be a huge privilege.”

The Cheetahs skipper says with De Villiers not on the training field, he will take the initiative and prepare as if he was the captain.

“We all hope that Jean will be fine for the weekend. He is a massive influence in the team. He is a great leader and I personally learnt a lot from him. I told the whole squad that I don’t think that leadership is just my responsibility. As a squad we will fill his shoes and everyone will make a step-up.

“I think it is important to have senior players who are leaders in their own positions. A guy like Bryan (Habana) - just to give one example - has unbelievable experience. It really helps a lot because the guys all look up to the other senior guys in the group. And if you lose a guy like Jean it is very important that the senior players come to the fore and take the responsibility.”

Strauss believes the Boks should be more clinical against the Pacific Islanders on Saturday.

“We playing a very tough team this weekend, but we want to focus on our own game. Of course we want a good result.  But we don’t just want to look at the scoreboard. We want to look at every aspect of the game to show that we have grown as a team.

“They are big guys and we know it is going to be very physical and we need to match that. We know they can throw the ball around a bit. They thrive on turnover ball. But I believe we will be ready for them on the weekend,” he added.

Kick-off is at 17:15 on Saturday.


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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