Who will be your biggest rivals in the Currie Cup, or is it the most open tournament of recent years?
Adriaan Strauss : The Currie Cup is a competition that means a lot to all South African Unions because of its history. Therefore you can expect a tough game every single week and there is no such thing as an easy, or easier game.
The Cheetahs experienced poor results in Super Rugby this season – have lessons been learnt and what will change going into the Currie Cup?
Adriaan Strauss : We are definitely disappointed with the results. But I don’t doubt our ability as a union or as a group. A good lesson learnt is that you can’t just score tries to win games, you need to defend equally well and that is where we lacked this year. A lot of tries against us were a result of turnovers from our attacking play.
Tell us a bit about Naka Drotske, his strengths as a coach and how he has impacted on your performances in the team?
Adriaan Strauss : Naka is a very even tempered person and that really helps when you are in an environment where there are so many highs and lows. Having been a player he understands the emotions of the group and is able to bring out the best in players, especially youngsters.
There is sometimes talk about South Africa needing to agree on a playing style, how do you feel about that statement given the Bulls, Stormers, Sharks and Cheetahs all seem to have such different ways of playing rugby?
Adriaan Strauss : I don’t think it is necessary to conform everyone to the same style of playing, it is thanks to the diversity of the Unions that South Africa always manages to produce unique players.
What do you enjoy most about the Cheetahs way?
Adriaan Strauss : When the Cheetahs get going with the attacking mindset, it is fun being on the field. Anything can happen.
Seven Cheetahs players (Adriaan Strauss, Cornal Hendricks, Willie le Roux, Teboho Mohoje, Coenie Oosthuizen, Trevor Nyakane and Lood de Jager) were in the 23 man Bok squad to face Scotland in PE – a good sign for the quality and depth of your Curie Cup squad?
Adriaan Strauss : I am very proud of all the youngsters getting the opportunity to play for the Boks, and every one of them did an exceptional job.
You have been an essential part of the Springbok set up since 2012 – your thoughts on where the national team is headed?
Adriaan Strauss : There is a very positive culture and vision in the camp. With the high standards that are set, I believe the Boks will be successful.
Your thoughts on the new PUMA Currie Cup kit – relieved at no pink camo or spots?
Adriaan Strauss : PUMA is an awesome sponsor to have and the kit is amazing. The Currie Cup jersey is something special!
Which boots do you play in and why do you chose to play in those particular boots?
Adriaan Strauss : I play with PUMA evoSPEED boots – the perfect combination for me as a hooker: I can run around a bit but also have great grip at scrum time.