Strauss eager for Nonu test

2010-12-01 22:23

Stephen Nell

London – Springbok coach Peter de Villiers calls him a “very underrated” player, but Andries Strauss will know exactly where he stands after a showdown with Ma’a Nonu in Saturday’s match against the Barbarians at Twickenham.

“It will be a big test against Nonu. I have played against him before. He’s world class and it’s nice to be able to measure yourself against a player like him. You know where you stand and what you need to work on after that,” Strauss said on Wednesday after his first training session with the Springboks.

For Strauss the training session in ice cold conditions was just another interesting episode over the course of a whirlwind 24 hours that started with the call he received at 3.30 pm on Tuesday from Springbok public relations manager Annelee Murray.

Strauss was told to get on a flight from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg at 4.30pm and travel to London from there.
He said that his first Springbok training session had gone well.

“It was quite easy to slot in. The training session was very good and the other players helped me to slot into the playing pattern,” he said.

Strauss admits that he hadn’t expected this kind of development late in the year. He had an excellent Currie Cup final for the Sharks against Western Province, but his decision to play for Free State again from next year was based on him not getting enough opportunities in Durban.

Now he’s set for his Bok debut with Jean de Villiers, Wynand Olivier and Juan de Jongh all injured.

“I never really thought it would happen, especially not considering the start we had to the Currie Cup. But we improved as the Currie Cup progressed and with the team performing well it became easier for individuals,” he said.

“Adrian Jacobs and I have often played together at the Sharks and it will make it easier to have him as my centre partner on Saturday. He has experience of test rugby and that will have a calming effect on me.”

Strauss, who is in the starting line-up with cousin Adriaan, hope this opportunity with the Boks is a pointer for the way forward.

“Hopefully this is the start of the road ahead, but I like to be in the background and do the hard work,” he said.

“The guys like Ryan Kankowski and Bismarck du Plessis can get the attention. I’m just happy to be here and to be able to play for the Boks.”


  • Ian - 2010-12-01 22:42

    strauss is their purely on merit. He was super solid during the S14 and CC and topped it off with a brilliant CC final display. He was way better than JDV on the day. He is not flashy but does everything right and is a team player. Tackles like a pitbull. good luck to him and I hope he has more Springbok caps to come.

  • Kevin - 2010-12-02 01:44

    Nonu will open you up like a can of baked beans!!

  • Neilson - 2010-12-02 03:36

    de Villiers calls him a “very underrated”: Sheesh, he must be the only one that don't rate him, as far as know Everyone was screaming for Strauss when we needed centres, now suddenly he tries to talk him up as if anyone is unhappy about him being there while he should have been there from the start. Someone should "run through" Div and hopefully knock some sense into him.

  • Candice - 2010-12-02 04:53

    Again another example of piss poor planning from the springbok management team, if it was expected for him to start, don't fly him out to arrive on wedneday to train the saturday before a big match. He should have been in the squad a while before this as back-up to Jean. Hope he has a good showing though as he's certainly had a great season.

  • JP - 2010-12-02 06:35

    and can this man defend!!!! take a look on youtube, andries strauss hits! and not one is high!!!! i am so glad he is in the side, for me the 2nd best centre in SA!!! go you good thing!!!

  • Magoo - 2010-12-02 07:22

    My MAN, Andries Strauss. Go you good thing, then come back to Durban!

      Preshan - 2010-12-02 08:10


  • Alan - 2010-12-02 07:51

    Strauss does all the basics right of a centre nothing flashy!!he is strong on defence!!the only thing that worries me i didnt see much of him on attack!!i hope he can prove something on attack saturday!good luck to him!!

  • Shauno - 2010-12-02 08:04

    Long overdue, hope he has a great game and pushes for a place to RWC. Good luck

  • Preshan - 2010-12-02 08:07


  • Abs - 2010-12-02 08:46

    Still say with Muir there as the backline coach, we are going to battle. The Bok backline has shown no sign of any creativity or imagination since he has been ass. coach. The sooner he is gone the better for players like Strauss and Lambie.

  • Phakamani - 2010-12-02 13:31

    Strauss is not in the same league as JDV, he can just tackle but lacks any creativity. If you want to see JDV credability, look at the WP backline this season. Traditionally South Africa sees the #12 position as basher who sets up phase ball. The game Pat Lambie played at # 12 in the Currie Cup is how a morden day # 12 should play. Good luck to you Strauss, I hope you dont just bash and tackle.

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