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    Strauss praises All Black Smith

    2013-03-28 07:25
    Cape Town - Kings centre Andries Strauss has singled out Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith as the danger man when the two teams clash in Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday.

    Strauss, who will be named as Kings captain when their team is announced on Thursday, described centre Smith as the "backbone" of the Hurricanes defence.

    "Smith is one of the most experienced players and has won a World Cup with the All Blacks," Strauss told Die Burger's website.

    "The other players in the Hurricanes team look up to him."

    Smith is also a handful on attack, hence the nickname "Snakey" for his abilities sneak through opposition defences.

    The Kings' defence coach, Brad Mooar, said they will be out to cramp down the space allowed to Smith and other dangerous runners like Julian Savea en Alapati Leiua.

    "It means we need to run hard at them, and not them coming at us," said Mooar.

    However, the Kings may not have face Smith on Saturday. The Hurricanes skipper has a bruised heel and needs to pass a fitness test on Thursday. He was bracketed with Leiua when the Hurricanes named their team on Wednesday. Scrumhalf TJ Perenara (calf strain) is also a doubt and will be replaced by Chris Smylie if he fails to recover in time.

    Strauss meanwhile recovered from a bruised AC joint which sidelined him against the Crusaders last week. He will become the fifth selected captain by the Port Elizabeth franchise this year.

    Luke Watson led the side in the first game against the Force, but had to leave the field after 30 minutes before Strauss took over. In their next game against the Sharks, it was lock Darron Nell who took the captaincy reigns, and while he was retained for the next match against the Chiefs, a freak injury sustained during the warm-up saw him pull out and fellow lock Steven Sykes took over.

    Sykes was then also injured which saw Schalk Ferreira lead the team against the Crusaders.

    Sykes will also return and will fulfill the vice-captaincy role.

    Kick-off is at 05:35 (SA time) on Saturday.


    15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua/Matt Proctor, 13 Conrad Smith (captain)/Alapati Leiua, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara/Chris Smylie, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.

    Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie/Samisoni Fisilau, 21 James Marshall, 22 Reynold Lee-Lo

    15 George Whitehead, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Devin Oosthuizen, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira

    Substitutes: 16 Hannes Franklin, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 Rynier Bernardo, 19 Daniel Adongo, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Hadleigh Parkes

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