Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss has been named as captain of the Vodacom Bulls for the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby season, the team annnounced on Monday. Another international star, Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard, will be vice-captain for the season.
Strauss, a Super Rugby centurion (118 appearances) is no stranger to a leadership role at this level, having captained the Toyota Cheetahs for a number of seasons and according to the Vodacom Bulls Super Rugby coach, Nollis Marais, is a perfect fit for his team.
“Adriaan ticks all the boxes. He has vast experience at Super Rugby level, has played 54 tests for the Springboks, where he is part of the leadership group and represents what we stand for as Bulls. His leadership style is great, as is his ability to rally players around him. He is also one of the top hookers in world rugby and even opponents will look up to his presence on the field,” Marais explained.
“It is also very important for a coach to have a good working relationship with his captain and Adriaan and myselfshare a number of values, with the most important our shared vision to build a special team and leave a legacy,” Marais said.
Pollard is no stranger to captaincy having lead the Junior Sprinboks in 2014 and Marais is confident that the playmaker and goal kicker will not be burdened by this extra responsibility.
“Handré is a natural leader of men and one that leads from the front. He is young in age, but already very experienced on the rugby field. He is also part of the new generation that is coming through at Loftus Versfeld and around we will be building the next generation of stars. Both Adriaan and Handré has the potential to captain the Springboks, so we can be very proud and humble about the fact that their leadership will be available to the Vodacom Bulls.”
Strauss said he was humbled when asked to lead the team.
“There were some brilliant captains in the past and I was lucky to be part of a special generation of Bulls players that won this competition in my early years. I have learned vaulable lessons about the team culture and when I returned last year, was very happy to see the work ethic and drive to be the best did not change. There are exciting times ahead for this group and I am very keen to be part of it. We want to be a team that makes a difference to our fans,” Strauss said.