Bok coach shares his excitement after appointing his first captain

Allister Coetzee yesterday revealed Adriaan Strauss would serve as captain of the Springbok squad.

FILE: Springbok coach Allister Coetzee. Picture: Saru.

CAPE TOWN - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has spoken of his excitement of appointing his first captain, Adriaan Strauss, as preparations got underway in Stellenbosch yesterday for the upcoming three-match series against Ireland.

The 30-year-old Strauss becomes the 57th player to lead the national side, although for now that's just for the next three tests.

Coetzee revealed yesterday that he woke up early with big news, but nobody to tell.

"I actually wanted to wake him at 6 o'clock and just share the news with him, but he was up by 7am so I got him downstairs and we shared that little chat. It was quite a special moment for me too. We were able to tell him that he's the 57th captain of the Springboks."

Coetzee says that Strauss seemed shocked when he first asked him to accept the position.

"And I could see he was really shocked. The reaction was like 'are you 100 percent sure, it's too early in the morning to tell me news like that'. He has taken it well and he's very mature about it in his approach. The first thing he said in accepting the role was that the team has many other leaders."

Meanwhile, Strauss says that pride in the jersey is what he will instill in his team and had this message for the fans.

"For me you the Boks always comes first. The Springboks mean a lot to the people of South Africa and we as players are very proud and excited to play for the Boks, but we know, especially in our country, we play for a much higher purpose and it's for every single person out there supporting us."

Strauss said he was humbled by the trust and confidence shown in him by Coetzee.

"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 get 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."

The 30-year old hooker, who was born in Bloemfontein, has played 54 Tests matches for South Africa since making his debut in 2008, scoring six tries to date. He also presented the Springboks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, where he earned his 50th Test cap against Samoa.

He became the 800th Springbok when he was called up to do duty in the 2008 Castle Lager Rugby Championship, making his debut on 19 July 2008 against Australia in Perth aged just 22-years old. He has played in a total of 57 Springbok matches, including three non-Tests.

In 2012 and 2013, Strauss shared the vice-captaincy with Du Plessis.

Strauss has amassed 130 Vodacom Super Rugby caps for the Toyota Cheetahs and the Vodacom Bulls.