Solly lures another King to Edinburgh

Sun, 05 Jan 2014 12:03
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Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons bolstered his playing ranks by luring another player away from his former team, the Southern Kings.

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons bolstered his playing ranks by luring another player away from his former team, the Southern Kings.

One-time Springbok Andries Strauss will add some much-needed depth to the Edinburgh midfield.

He will join fellow former King Cornell Du Preez and several other South Africans - Carl Bezuidenhout (Pumas, the most recent signing before Strauss), Wicus Blaauw (from Biarritz and the Stormers before that), Willem (WP) Nel (Cheetahs) and Izak van der Westhuizen (Cheetahs).

Strauss have signed on with Solomons' growing band of South Africans till 2016.

The 29-year-old made 56 appearances in Super Rugby - having plied his trade for the Cheetahs, Sharks and last year for Solomons as stand-in captain at the Kings.

The two-time Currie Cup winner and Super Rugby semifinalist has also represented South Africa in the IRB Sevens World Series - featuring in the inaugural Edinburgh tournament in 2007 - and for the Boks against the Barbarians in 2010 at Twickenham.

Brother to Leinster and Ireland hooker Richardt Strauss, Andries Strauss arrived in the Scottish capital at the weekend.

Subject to medical examination he will begin training with the squad on Monday, January 6, at the start of a new chapter in an already impressive career.

"I'm very excited to be here," said Strauss.

"I said during the world Sevens series that, if there was a city in the UK that I'd like to play rugby in, then it'd be Edinburgh, so I'm very happy to get this chance in one of the best cities in the world.

"I've spoken a lot to my brother Richardt [Strauss] about the strength of the Pro12 and European Cup and how they compare to Super Rugby so it's a massive opportunity for me to experience a different side of the rugby world.

"Hopefully my experience in the southern hemisphere will benefit me when playing here.

"This is a new team set-up so my first focus is to put in a lot of hard work and not focus on anything else but that.

"My first goal is to become part of a side which has been quite successful this year, and by that I mean settle in to the group and get to know the guys as quickly as possible.

"I'm looking forward to getting on to the pitch and training again, putting the boots back on and getting the body into a couple of contact situations.

"Once I've done that I'll refocus my goals in terms of what I want to achieve with this team."

A product of the prestigious rugby school Grey College in Bloemfontein, Strauss represented South Africa through the age-grades and joined the Free State Under-20 side in 2003.

He was included in the Cheetahs' senior squad for the 2004 Vodacom Cup competition, before moving to Durban to join the Sharks the following year.

He represented the province at all levels, making more than 100 appearances for the Sharks in four years - across the Super Rugby, Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup (Natal Wildebeest) competitions.

He then spent two seasons with the Cheetahs alongside Edinburgh forwards Willem Nel and Izak van der Westhuizen, before securing a move to the Kings, where he started 13 of their 16 matches, most of which as captain, in Solomons' then Super Rugby side.

The Edinburgh coach, Solomons, welcomed the signing, citing both the short and long term benefits of the new recruit.

He said: "This is very good news for Edinburgh.

"Strauss is a very mature player with a lot of Super Rugby and Currie Cup premier division experience. He did a fantastic job as captain for the Kings.

"He's a big boy, is genetically strong and his conditioning is superb. He's a natural athlete in that sense and will make a valuable contribution to Edinburgh Rugby, both in terms of playing and leadership.

"It's fantastic that he joins us now because he is immediately available for this season and will be totally au-fait with everything for when the new season starts, which makes a huge difference.

"We want to go into next season, particularly with a guy like that, being completely comfortable and established."

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Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 22 19 0 3 86
Leinster 22 18 0 4 85
Scarlets 22 17 0 5 77
Ospreys 22 14 0 8 69
Ulster 22 14 1 7 68
Glasgow Warriors 22 11 0 11 58
Cardiff Blues 22 11 1 10 53
Connacht 22 9 0 13 44
Edinburgh 22 6 0 16 31
Treviso 22 5 0 17 23
Dragons 22 4 0 18 23
Zebre 22 3 0 19 19