Strauss wants to set marker for new era

Date published: June 10 2016

New Bok captain Adriaan Strauss is aware of what his team need to do as they start a new era against Ireland on Saturday. 

The Boks embark on a new era under coach Allister Coetzee, who will be in charge of his first Test as head coach since his appointment as successor to Heyneke Meyer.

Strauss, in turn, will become the 57th player to lead out the Springboks as captain on Saturday, with the 30-year old Vodacom Bulls hooker playing in his 55th Test for his country.

Speaking to media on Friday, Strauss said the Boks had set their site on a good performance in front of the Cape Town crowd. According to the Bok skipper he and his team mates were looking forward to the challenge.

"It’s the start of a new journey for this team, so we definitely want to set down a marker and standard for ourselves … Of course the result will always be important, but it’s more about the way we want to play and the way forward," Strauss said.

Decision making and creating a framework in which the Springboks can make effective decisions within it has been heavily stressed by Strauss.

"It’s all about decision making, and at this level that is particularly important. We need to give players options on the field, but there is also a structure in place for that," Strauss told Supersport.

"We first have to make the right decisions at the right time, and play into space. We want to attack, but it needs to be based on good decision-making, while identifying where that space is.

Strauss has warned his team mates against underestimating the injury-hit Ireland.

"Every player in world rugby who gets the opportunity to represent his country lifts his game. The Irish are a very proud nation and they will lift their game for sure, so we have to be prepared for that," explained Strauss.

Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula visited the side on Friday and lauded the rich tradition of the Springboks.

 "The Springboks have a proud and successful track record and you inspire people when you represent your country. You always play with such pride and passion, and I want to wish you well against the Irish," said Mbalula.