Josh Strauss (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Springbok flank Schalk Burger says they need to be wary of Scotland’s South African-born loose forward Josh Strauss.
Strauss, 28, made his debut for his adopted country in their Rugby World Cup opener against Japan last week and is expected to feature against the Springboks in Newcastle on Saturday.
The bearded former Lions captain joined Glasgow Warriors in 2012 and has since notched impressive performances for the Scottish club.
Burger was speaking at a press conference in Newcastle on Tuesday and when asked how tough it would be to face Strauss, he quipped: “I think his beard makes him quite difficult (to face). He’s not a nice target to tackle because his beard is in the way...”
On a more serious note, Burger replied: “No, he’s an outstanding player. He was with us - at WP and Maties - for three years during his junior days. At that stage we had very good loose forwards, so he went up to the Lions and played unbelievable rugby there.
“He’s a strong ball carrier, one of those typical South African loose forwards... honest player, puts his hand up when the team expects it of him and never gives up. He’s a tough guy to play against.”
Strauss is joined in the Scotland team by another South African-born player in Edinburgh prop WP Nel, who boasts five Test caps.
Saturday’s clash at St James’ Park - the home of English football side Newcastle United - is scheduled for 17:45 (SA time).