South Africa name hooker Strauss as captain


  • Rugby
  • Monday, 30 May 2016

STELLENBOSCH, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa named hooker Adriaan Strauss as captain on Monday for next month's three-test home series against Ireland.

New coach Allister Coetzee, who named a new-look squad on Saturday, praised the 30-year-old's skills two days later.

"Adriaan's leadership qualities are impressive and well-established and he has the respect of his team mates on and off the field," Coetzee said in an SA Rugby statement.

Strauss will become the 57th Springbok captain, taking over from Jean de Villiers who retired after last year's Rugby World Cup.

"Adriaan has always fulfilled a leadership role, wherever he played, since coming through the junior national structures," said Coetzee.

"He has shared the vice-captaincy role with Bismarck du Plessis for the Springboks and is also a former Cheetahs skipper and current Bulls captain. I have been impressed in my interactions with him and I have the utmost faith in him."

Strauss has played 54 tests since making his debut in 2008 and now looks to have claimed the regular hooker's berth from Du Plessis, the player he has shared the number two jersey with since the retirement of former captain John Smit in 2011.

"I am very grateful to the coach for entrusting me with this enormous responsibility," Strauss said. "I am incredibly humbled by this huge honour and also excited about the role."

Coetzee named nine uncapped players in the squad on Saturday.

Strauss and Coetzee start a new era when South Africa host Ireland in Cape Town on June 11 before further tests in Johannesburg (18th) and Port Elizabeth (25th).

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Tony Jimenez)

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