Adriaan Strauss will retire from test rugby at the end of the 2016 season
The hooker became the 57th Springbok captain against Ireland in June
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee was aware of his thinking upon his appointment
South African captain Adriaan Strauss is to retire at the end of the season, SA Rugby confirmed today.
Strauss, who became the 57th Springbok captain against Ireland in June, said he had been contemplating retirement at the end of the season since late in 2015, and that he had informed Springbok coach Allister Coetzee of his thinking on his appointment earlier this year.
“When Coach Allister approached me to lead the team, I was both humbled and honoured,” Strauss said.
“The plan was for me to serve and lead a team in transition as well as I can and take things week by week, but back then I already told him that I was thinking of retiring at the end of the season.
“I’ve always accepted the pressure and the challenge of playing for and captaining the Springboks, I feel it’s the right time to let my team-mates and our supporters know of the decision I made, with a greater plan in mind.”
Coetzee lauded Strauss for the role he is playing in empowering a new generation of Springbok players and developing a new team culture.
“I’ve known since day one that Adriaan was planning to retire at the end of 2016, but he is a vital component in our team and his role has been part of our succession planning in any case,” said Coetzee.
“He is a magnificent servant of the game in South Africa and doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. At a time when most players of his generation decided to move abroad, Adriaan chose to remain here, ploughing back into the game.
“Adriaan has captained the team with great courage in the past few months, often rallying the players on the field when real leadership was needed. He has also led by example during the week leading up to our tests – none of which the public sees.
“I’ve come to know Adriaan as a player who only wants what is best for the team, so he will help the younger players and leaders come through the system, knowing they will need to get game time and exposure at test level.”