Cape Town - Adriaan Strauss will retire from
Test rugby at the end of the 2016 season.
Strauss, who became the 57th
Springbok captain against Ireland in June, said he had been contemplating
retirement at the end of the season since late in 2015, and that he had
informed Springbok coach Allister Coetzee of his thinking on his appointment
earlier this year.
“When Coach Allister approached
me to lead the team, I was both humbled and honoured,” Strauss said. “The plan
was for me to serve and lead a team in transition as well as I can and take
things week by week, but back then I already told him that I was thinking of
retiring at the end of the season.
“I’ve always accepted the
pressure and the challenge of playing for and captaining the Springboks, I feel
it’s the right time to let my team-mates and our supporters know of the
decision I made, with a greater plan in mind.”
Coetzee lauded Strauss for the
role he is playing in empowering a new generation of Springbok players and
developing a new team culture.
“I’ve known since day one that
Adriaan was planning to retire at the end of 2016, but he is a vital component
in our team and his role has been part of our succession planning in any case,”
“He is a magnificent servant of
the game in South Africa and doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. At a
time when most players of his generation decided to move abroad, Adriaan chose
to remain here, ploughing back into the game.
“Adriaan has captained the team
with great courage in the past few months, often rallying the players on the
field when real leadership was needed. He has also led by example during the
week leading up to our Tests – none of which the public sees.
“I’ve come to know Adriaan as a
player who only wants what is best for the team, so he will help the younger
players and leaders come through the system, knowing they will need to get game
time and exposure at Test level.”
Strauss said he had been
stimulated by the challenge of being actively involved as captain at the start
of a new era in Springbok rugby.
“I knew my role was going to
extend beyond what happens on the field on a Saturday and that we were starting
a building process of something special with a new group of players, many of
whom will become Springbok greats,” he said.
“This is a young team and I’ve
been honoured to work with a very talented group of players and leaders in
establishing a new team culture. I believe the time is right to start giving
more opportunities to this new generation and I’m happy to be used in any way
the coach sees fit.
“It has never been about me. My
point of view was always to do what is best for the team and I believe I’ve
succeeded in making a contribution to the Springboks and South African rugby,
which were two major reasons for me to retire.
“Every older player has this
voice in the back of his head that he’d like to retire on his own terms, and I
believe that is what I am doing.
"I’m very grateful for my Springbok
career and to all coaches and team-mates who have played a role in my
development as a player and as a human being. The last few months have been
especially enjoyable, as well as massively challenging. My decision make it
official is so that the coach and his management staff will have sufficient
time to do their succession planning.
“The Springboks are lucky to have
a massively passionate base of supporters, who are very critical of many
aspects of the game. I would like to urge them to keep the faith and remain
positive, because we’re on an exciting journey and this team will keep on
working as hard as possible to make our supporters proud.”
Mini-biography for Adriaan
Strauss – Springbok #800
Date and place of birth: 18
November 1985, Bloemfontein
Physical: 1.84m, 112kg
Education: Grey College,
Bloemfontein; University of Pretoria
Springbok Test debut: SA vs
Australia in Perth, 2008
Springbok Test caps and points:
59; 30 pts (6 tries)
Became the 57th Springbok
captain in June 2016
Vodacom Super Rugby teams: Toyota
Cheetahs, Vodacom Bulls (captained both teams)
Vodacom Super Rugby appearances:
132 (Toyota Cheetahs 97, a franchise record; Vodacom Bulls 35)
Vodacom Super Rugby points: 70
Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the
Year in 2013
Other teams: SA Schools (2003),
SA U19 (2004), SA U21 (2005-06), British Barbarians (2011)