Bok skipper hoping to bow out on the right note


Strauss, 31, will walk into the international sunset after South Africa bring the curtain down on their year of disasters with a Test against Wales. He was named captain by new Springbok coach Allister Coetzee back in June - a controversial decision that has been met with much derision. And, like Coetzee, the pressure from the media increased with every defeat, seven in 11 starts - culminating in last week's embarrassing first loss to Italy.

While Strauss was quick to dismiss the notion that the game is about him alone, he admitted that winning and ending the year on a high is vital. “This is the most important game of my career and it is a crucial fixture for both the team and South African rugby,” he said in reference to the need to bounce back from last week's shocker in Florence.

“We all know the impact of that loss and the impact of that moment. “We know the significance of losing to Italy,” he said, adding that it is “vital” for the team to “pull it together”.

Strauss played the first of his 65 Tests against Australia in 2008. The first 11 were all off the replacement bench. He started in 23 of the next 43 internationals and started in all 11 Tests this year. The exception was the non-capped clash with the Barbarians at the Wembley stadium at the start of the year-end tour.

The former SA schools player and Junior Springbok also featured in two non-cap tour matches for the Boks. He also featured in more than 200 first-class matches - Currie Cup and Super Rugby - for the Bulls and Cheetahs.

African News Agency (ANA)

Original source: Bok skipper hoping to bow out on the right note