Pretoria - Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss has broken his silence, saying he is excited at the prospect of moving to the Bulls at the end of the season.
The Bulls officially announced the move on Monday, but Strauss revealed exclusively to the supersport.com website that his decision was taken to further his career.
Strauss signed a two-year contract to move to the Bulls, following fellow Cheetahs players Trevor Nyakane and Lappies Labuschagné who will also line up for the Pretoria franchise in next year’s Super Rugby competition.
And while he was set to sign for the Cheetahs, the fact that agreement could not be reached over a clause in his contract was eventually the point that swayed him in favour of the Bulls.
Strauss said it wasn’t that he was unhappy at the Cheetahs, but rather that he was looking for his rugby as a player to progress.
“I was very happy in the Free State,” said Strauss. “I was happy but with the negotiations we couldn’t come to an agreement and I respect their decision in that. I have had some amazing times in Bloemfontein but I have to look at my career path going forward and I’m excited at the prospect of returning to Pretoria.”
Strauss had asked for a clause stating that an independent consultant do an investigation into Cheetahs rugby so as to help improve it as an entity. According to Volksblad, Strauss asked for this to try and positively influence the team from the players’ point of view, but it was refused.
“They communicated well through the whole process, and told me the clause was not acceptable and I accept their reasons for that. The Cheetahs have a good group of players and their Currie Cup preparation is going well at the moment, so on the one hand it is a bit bad to leave when there is so much potential here.”
Strauss played three years of junior rugby in Pretoria, making both his Currie Cup and Super Rugby debuts for the Bulls before heading to Bloemfontein to become the face of the Cheetahs.
“My first three years of (professional) rugby was in Pretoria and I enjoyed it a lot, and learnt so much from the coaches and players around there. It was a phase of my life that was good for me and I feel a move back there now will be good for my rugby,” he said.
“It is difficult to leave the Free State, because my heart and soul has been invested here for so long, but a new challenge is never a bad thing and I respect the fact that things change and I’m excited to take this challenge head on.”
Strauss will continue to maintain his presence in his businesses in Bloemfontein - one of them an ITEC franchise and his knowledge of Pretoria will open up new opportunities in these areas in the capital.
“I’m still going to be involved in everything and the way technology is nowadays it is easy to stay involved. I can also service Pretoria clients. It will be an adjustment for me but Pretoria is somewhere I know well and I’m looking forward to the move.”