Strauss 'feeling the heat'

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 01:00

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Adriaan Strauss admitted there is pressure on him to perform and help the Springboks end their losing streak.

Strauss and new Bok coach Allister Coetzee have lost four of their seven Tests as captain and coach, including the last three.

South Africa take on a vastly-improved Australia in a Rugby Championship match in Pretoria on Saturday in what will be Strauss' last-ever game as a Springbok at Loftus Versfeld - before quitting the Test arena at the end of the year.

Strauss said his team was looking forward to playing against the Wallabies in front of a packed and passionate Loftus Versfeld crowd on Saturday.

However, it is his own form and public criticism that took centre stage at his usual captain's media briefing on Friday.

"I don't want to say I don't feel the pressure," Straus said, adding: But I always said I was going to be process driven."

He said he will do everything he can, on and off the field, to get the Boks back on the winning track.

"I will make mistakes [and] I have made mistakes.

"The pressure will always be there at this [Test] level.

"However, I deal with that by just focusing on what I need to do."

Legendary Springbok Fourie du Preez handed out the match jerseys to the team and offered the embattled Boks some words of encouragement.

"It was massive to have him here with us at this time," Strauss said.

"He is someone that I have a lot of respect for as a person and as a player.

"He is one of our best ever Springboks and a very inspirational figure."

According to Strauss, the soft spoken Du Preez offered some great advice during his brief address to the team.

"We are in a tough spot at the moment," the Bok skipper said, adding: "He spoke about us maintaining our composure and making the right decisions at the right times.

"Just having him here was massive for us.

"He offered words of encouragement to help us make that step up and his message had a big impact on the team."

Loftus Versfeld has a capacity of 51 000 seats and almost 45 000 tickets were already sold by midday on Friday.

@rugby365com

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