Rugby Championship

From 'little farm boy' to Bok skipper

2016-10-07 20:23
Adriaan Strauss (Gallo Images)

Durban - Adriaan Strauss has done his best not to steal the headlines ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks at Kings Park. 

The Springbok skipper will be playing his final Test on South African soil after announcing his intention to retire from the game midway through the tournament. 

Now 30, Strauss has been capped 62 times by the Boks. 

He assured media on Thursday that he was not feeling any extra emotion heading into the match and that he was completely focused on the job at hand, but when he began to take a trip down memory lane there were some goose-bump moments. 

Strauss has taken on the All Blacks 10 times since 2008, but he has been on the winning side only once. 

"Beating the All Blacks is a special moment," Strauss said, remembering South Africa's last minute 27-25 win in Johannesburg in 2014.

"But it’s more about the build-up and the challenge.

"I was a farm boy in South Africa growing up and dreaming of playing for South Africa but always having in mind that the biggest game for the Boks is playing the All Blacks. You grow up with that in South Africa.

"When you face the haka you realise that this is the pinnacle of rugby. For me it’s a special moment every time we play the All Blacks."

Strauss would obviously love a win on Saturday. 

But if, as is expected, that doesn't happen then the Bok skipper will get his satisfaction anyway. 

"As a rugby player you love that feeling when you know you left everything out there on the field," he said. 

"When your body is aching and you're tired ... that's the satisfaction I would like to feel after the game ... that I gave it my all and the team left everything out on the park."


South Africa

15 Pat Lambie, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 George Moala


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