Strauss set to re­tire from Test rugby

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

CAPE TOWN — Adri­aan Strauss will re­tire from Test rugby at the end of the 2016 sea­son.

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,” added Coetzee. — AP

Paul Pogba

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