Internationals

Strauss named Springboks captain

Adriaan Strauss has been named as South Africa captain ahead of the series against Ireland in a new era under Allister Coetzee.

Bulls hooker Strauss becomes the 57th Springboks skipper after scrum-half Fourie du Preez retired in March.

South Africa coach Coetzee announced in Stellenbosch on Monday that 30-year-old Strauss is the man he has chosen to lead his side as they prepare to face Ireland in three Tests next month.

"Adriaan's leadership qualities are impressive and well-established and he has the respect of his team-mates on and off the field," said Coetzee.

"He enjoys the respect of all the players and he has always fulfilled a leadership role wherever he played, since coming through the junior national structures.

"Adriaan has shared the vice-captaincy role with Bismarck du Plessis for the Springboks and is also a former Cheetahs skipper and current Bulls captain.

"I have no doubt he will be successful in his role as Springbok captain, which is a huge responsibility."

Strauss, who has 54 caps for his country, said: "I am very grateful to the coach for entrusting me with this enormous responsibility,

"I am incredibly humbled by this huge honour and also excited about the role. It is not everyone that gets the opportunity to lead the Springboks, so I consider myself very blessed indeed. I shall do my very best to justify the trust shown in me.

"I am also very fortunate that I will be able to lean on the assistance of a great leadership group within the squad. There's a fantastic energy in the squad, but the hard work starts now."

South Africa and Ireland lock horns at Newlands in the first Test on June 11.