Cape Town - Adriaan Strauss looked shocked to hear the news of his Springbok captaincy on Monday, says Allister Coetzee.
With the squad having arrived in Stellenbosch on Sunday, Coetzee wanted his leader named immediately.
"You can't have a Springbok squad training without a leader," the new Bok coach said later.
Coetzee did not waste any time, and Cape Town's media rushed off to Paul Roos Gymnasium on Monday afternoon to hear who the new Bok skipper was.
Strauss had been heavily favoured to be given the captaincy, and there were no dropped jaws when that suspicion was confirmed.
But, according to the coach, Strauss himself was caught a little off-guard when he received the news.
"This morning I actually wanted to wake him up at 6 am to share the news, but he was up by 7 so I got him downstairs and we shared that little chat," Coetzee revealed.
"It was quite a special moment for me too. I could see he was actually really shocked. The reaction was like 'are you 100% sure? Isn't it too early in the morning to tell me that?' He’s taken it well and he’s very mature about it."
One of Strauss's initial concerns was how his team-mates would respond to the decision, but Coetzee says that the young and experienced members of the squad have all welcomed Strauss as their leader.
"The first thing that I told coach was that if I look at my own ambition it is massive," said Strauss.
"You don’t even dream of becoming a Springbok captain … but I told him as well that it needs to be the best for the team and the players need to accept that as well.
"I’m thankful they did and the guys have welcomed me very warmly."
Speaking about his new role, Strauss's passion was unmissable.
"As a leader, especially in a team environment, you will make mistakes. I will make mistakes but as long as I know that my heart is in the right place … the team will come first for me," he said.
"For me the Bok always comes first. The Springbok means a lot to the people of South Africa. We as players are very proud and excited to play for the Boks, but we know that especially in our country we play for a much higher purpose and that’s for every single South African out there supporting the Boks. We want to make the supporters proud."
The first Test against Ireland takes place on June 11 at Newlands.