Cape Town - The decision to appoint Adriaan Strauss as captain of the Springboks for the June internationals against Ireland was not a difficult one, coach Allister Coetzee says.
Strauss, captain of the Bulls, became the 57th captain of the Boks on Monday when Coetzee announced the news at a training camp in Stellenbosch.
The talk before the announcement was that Pat Lambie and Warren Whiteley - captains of the Sharks and Lions, respectively - were also frontrunners to be given the honour.
But in the end Coetzee opted for the 54-Test veteran, and the coach said that it was not a difficult decision at all.
"I’ve had four
franchise captains in the squad this morning. He will be working with a great
leadership group therefore it was never a difficult decision to be made," said Coetzee.
think what is important is that the captain would come from within the
boundaries of the country and that is definitely the right thing and I could
just see from the response at training today; it’s been taken very well.
players have pledged their support right behind the captain."
Coetzee has never worked with Strauss before, but says he has long been an admirer of the 30-year-old's leadership abilities.
"We had our first
session today and you cannot have a Springbok squad training without a leader," said Coetzee.
"I always had Adriaan as one of the captains for this country … he’s been
earmarked long ago.
"I had no doubt about his ability but it was also important
for the players to understand that a captain has got to be there to win Test
matches for our country and be an extension of the coaches on the field, and he
has shown those attributes in a very short space of time."
The first Test against Ireland takes place at Newlands on June 11.