Rugby

Strauss quits as Lions captain

2012-08-02 07:43
Josh Strauss (File)
Cape Town - Loose forward Josh Strauss has stepped down from his captaincy role at the Lions to focus more on his own game.

Beeld
reports that the pressure of a tough Super Rugby competition - in which the Lions finished bottom of the log - combined with the players' soured relationship with suspended coach John Mutchell, has taken its toll on Strauss.

He is not happy with his own form and wants to focus solely on improving his game. He also feels he can give his career a boost by making a positional shift to blindside flank.

And he's already been picked there for the Lions' friendly match against the Blue Bulls at Wits University on Friday night. Strauss moves to No 7 in place of the promising Grant Hattingh, who has since joined the Bulls.

Lions interim coach Johann Ackermann has handed the captaincy to prop JC Janse van Rensburg on a temporary basis.

The Golden Lions, who won the Currie Cup with Strauss as their leader last year, start the defence of their crown at home against the Free State Cheetahs on August 11.

Teams:

Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Waylon Murray, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Derick Minnie, 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain).

Substitutes: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Patric Cilliers, 19 Ruan Dreyer, 20 JC Wasserman, 21 Cobus Grobbelaar, 22 Warren Whiteley, 23 Willie Britz, 24 Ross Cronje, 25 Gus Cronje, 26 Justin St Jerry, 27 Chrysander Botha, 28 JR Esterhuizen, 29 Richard Aingworth, 30 Whestley Moolman, 31 Grant Janke.

Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Clayton Blommetjies, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn.

Substitutes 16 Morné Mellett, 17 Robbie Coetzee, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Grant Hattingh, 21 Warwick Tecklenburg, 22 Wiaan Liebenberg, 23 Ruan Snyman, 24 Lionel Cronjé, 25 Adri Jacobs, 26 Jerome Pretorius.

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