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Strauss is the real deal for Ireland - Bernard Jackman

The former Leinster hooker has tipped the forward to start against his native South Africa next month.

Strauss could face his cousin, Adriaan, on his Ireland debut.
Strauss could face his cousin, Adriaan, on his Ireland debut.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

FORMER LEINSTER AND IRELAND hooker Bernard Jackman has predicted a bright international future for Richardt Strauss after he was named in the Ireland squad for the Guinness Series internationals.

Jackman, who is now forwards coach at Grenoble in the French Top 14, played a season of Magners League and Heineken Cup rugby with Strauss in 2009/10.

The 26-year-old, from Pretoria in South Africa, was one of four uncapped players named yesterday by Ireland coach Declan Kidney for the series in November.

He was signed as a ‘special project’ player from the Cheetahs and has established himself as the hooker of choice for Leinster coach Joe Schmidt, becoming eligible for Ireland at the beginning of next month.

Jackman told TheScore.ie, “Strauss is quality. He is like an extra back-row.

“He’s a very good scrummager, a good thrower and a fine runner. He’s the real deal.”

Filling the void

Jackman, who won nine caps for Ireland between 2005 and 2008, feels the South African is one of the success stories of a system that has encouraged the signings of Nathan White, Jared Payne and Peter Borlase. He said:

There have been a few hits and misses with the special project players; more misses than hits. Stauss, though, is going to really add to the Irish mix.

“Rory Best is a quality player but there is a bit of a void below that.”

He added, “Richardt is a guy who will be totally committed to Ireland. He has been living his life here and working hard for the past few years. I’ve no doubt that he’ll do the job for Ireland.”

Jackman points out that one of the ironies of the international call-ups is the fact that Strauss could face off against his cousin, Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss, at the Aviva on 10 November.

“Knowing Richardt, he’ll take it all in his stride,” Jackman remarked.

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Patrick McCarry

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