Jump to main content


Competition For Places Is Driving Us On – Strauss

Competition For Places Is Driving Us On – Strauss

Hooker Richardt Strauss believes the competition for places in the squad is driving the players on as the Ireland Wolfhounds face England Saxons in Cork tonight, just a week before the start of the 2015 RBS 6 Nations.

“That’s the way we would prefer it, to know there’s a competitive squad. The way we’ve looked at it in the last few years, is that if the team is successful that’s a positive for everyone in the squad,” explained Richardt Strauss, who now has six Ireland caps to his name.

“The biggest mistake you can make in games like this (tonight’s Ireland Wolfhounds-England Saxons clash) is try to do things by yourself. I’ve got to make the team be successful, for me this week it’s just trying to get the set piece nailed and do the basics right. And then whatever happens happens.”

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

There were four hookers named in Ireland’s extended 46-man squad for the Wolfhounds game and the fast-approaching RBS 6 Nations – Leinster duo Strauss and Sean Cronin along with Ulster’s Rory Best and Rob Herring.

Despite the disappointment that comes with lesser game-time, Strauss, who starts for the Wolfhounds with Herring on the bench, is eager to lay down a marker in Cork and put his hand up for selection against Italy on Saturday week.

“Everyone wants to put up their hand, you know. You have to be realistic, in my case it’s possible but highly unlikely. We’ve been told selection’s open for the Italy game, so everyone’s got to play as well as they can,” said the 29-year-old.

“Mike (Ross) is good, he got a good bit of work done at Leinster and at his age it’s no bad thing having some time off. So he’ll be keen to stick up his hand and show what he’s made of. Obviously it’s tough everyone wants to to be playing, I understand where I’m coming from and know I need to be patient.”

Strauss believes the best way to stay on top form is to get increased amounts of game-time and while he says he needs to put pressure on Matt O’Connor in terms of selection at Leinster, he knows both his provincial and national coaches are out to pick their best teams.

With such a short turnaround between now and the opening game against Italy, the South African-born front rower admitted that Joe Schmidt keeps the players in the dark regarding selection just as much as he does with the media and the public.

“It’s exactly the same with us. Joe’s always been like that and that’s a good thing. He keeps you on your toes, and if you make mistakes Joe will pick you up on them, no doubt. Some of the lads need some game-time and others like myself need to push for places in the Six Nations.

“We’ve all been combined together more or less (for training). We (the Wolfhounds players) have broken away towards the end of the week. We’ve got a good knowledge of each other, so we’ll be alright.”