Strauss honoured by call-up
Cape Town – Much of the focus in the lead up to this weekend’s Barbarians match against Australia will be on the sending off of Springbok lock, Victor Matfield, but for another South African, the match also marks a special achievement.
Only three South Africans will be involved for the Baa-Baas team at the spiritual home, Twickenham, namely Matfield as well as Bryan Habana and Adriaan Strauss.
And although Habana has played many matches in the same team as Matfield, for both the Springboks and the Blue Bulls, the match will be another rare occasion for Strauss to play alongside one of rugby’s greats.
“Victor is a rugby hero in South Africa and it is great to play with him for the Baa-Baas. I played my first Bok match with Victor and Bryan. It is an honour to play alongside them again, although Bryan now plays for another province and Victor has retired,” Strauss told Wednesday’s Die Burger.
Strauss points out that despite the match being considered as an exhibition of rugby, because of it not being granted full Test status, he is under no illusions.
“The perception is that the guys only want to play beautiful rugby, but last year’s match was very physical. You get the opportunity to measure up to the best in the world. Furthermore, the last match was also something special, seeing that I played for the Boks with my cousin, Andries Strauss, against the Baa-Baas.”
Although Strauss was involved in last year’s Barbarians match, playing for the Springboks, this will be the first time he will don the Baa-Baas jersey, an occasion he will truly savour.
“To make any team, you may have to only train hard to be rewarded, but to play for the Baa-Baas is a big opportunity and is actually a gift if you get the chance. You don’t play trials to make this team.”