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    Strauss 'excited' by Springbok revival

    2017-06-29 11:35

    Pretoria - Former Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss says he is excited to see the national side return to winning ways. 

    The 31-year-old Bulls skipper was in charge of the Boks last year when they limped to a woeful season that saw just four wins from 12.

    Having retired from international rugby at the end of 2016, Strauss then watched on as the Boks beat France 3-0 in their recently-completed series. 

    It is a result that has restored some faith in the Springbok cause as they now look ahead to the Rugby Championship, and Strauss says the injection of optimism was needed. 

    "It's exciting. There is a lot of energy there and I think getting the results is not only important for the team, but the country. We needed that," he said in Pretoria on Wednesday.

    "It's great to support them and join and play my part as a supporter. It was amazing."

    Strauss and the Bulls are boosted by fielding and all-Bok midfield for Friday's clash against the Sharks in Durban with Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel having returned to Pretoria full of confidence.

    "I could feel the energy that they bring. It was a successful series for them and the guys are excited ... you can feel it. That's good for us," said Strauss. 

    Unfortunately for the Bulls, they have no chance of qualifying for the Super Rugby play-offs this year. 

    But Strauss believes that could help them in their last three matches of the season.

    "I think the shackles are off a bit ... we need to go out there and express ourselves and go play with intent," he said.

    "We've got three games left in the competition and we need to show that passion on the field."

    Kick-off on Friday is at 19:00.

    Teams:

    Sharks

    15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tera Mtembu, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit

    Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Marius Louw

    Bulls

    15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad Van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman

    Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Johnroy Jenkins, 19 Shuan Adendorff, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tian Schoeman

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    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
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    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
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    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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