Glasgow Warriors today revealed one of the most exciting signings in the club’s history, announcing that South African No.8 Josh Strauss has put pen to paper on a three-year contract.
The 25-year-old is renowned as one of the most dynamic and powerful back-rowers in the Super XV competition, where he has captained the Lions for the last two seasons.
Strauss also skippered the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup, leading them to triumph in the 2011 edition of the prestigious competition where they beat Natal Sharks in the final.
His peers named him Currie Cup Player of the Tournament for a series of outstanding displays, characterised by impressive ball-carrying and a high-octane approach to his duties at the base of the scrum.
Strauss has pledged his services to the Warriors until at least the end of May 2015, subject to medical and visa.
He is due to arrive in Scotland’s number one city in the next fortnight to bring further quality to an area of the team where Glasgow already boast the likes of Rob Harley, Angus Macdonald, James Eddie, John Barclay, Chris Fusaro and Ryan Wilson.
Strauss today outlined his enthusiasm at joining with the Warriors, telling www.glasgowwarriors.org: “I’m really excited to have signed for Glasgow Warriors, and can’t wait to get on that plane and hit the ground running with my new club and team-mates.
“I’ve had a number of really positive conversations with [head coach] Gregor Townsend, where he’s explained how ambitious the club are to move forward on and off the field.
“There are a lot of top players in the squad, especially in the back row, and I know I will have to fight hard to prove my worth and earn selection.
“I’m massively looking forward to arriving in Glasgow, seeing the facilities at Scotstoun Stadium for myself, and playing my part in helping the club achieve a successful season.”
Head coach Townsend has hailed Strauss as a “terrific addition”, saying: “Josh is an outstanding player and person who will be a fantastic asset for our team and club.
“He’s a signing who will excite both the rest of the squad and our supporters, who doubtless will have enjoyed watching him lead from the front with the Lions in Super XV.
“Technically, he has all the elements you’d want to see in a No.8. Ryan Wilson has been in excellent form these past 12 months, and having that level of competition is great for all concerned.
“Josh is here first and foremost to make an outstanding contribution on the field, but we also see him as someone who will be a very positive and inspirational influence for our young back-row players as they make strides in the game.
“On behalf of everyone at Glasgow Warriors, I’d like to formally welcome Josh to the club.
“With the support of Scottish Rugby, we’re committed to constantly improving the squad. Signing a high-profile player of Josh’s calibre is a signal of our ambition, and also an endorsement of the growth the club has undergone on and off the pitch.
“We’re delighted Josh views Glasgow Warriors as a club where he can progress and achieve his ambitions, and we look forward to seeing him in a black and blue shirt in the very near future.”
Strauss represented Boland on the Western Cape at under-19 and under-21 level before spending a year in France with Lons-le-Saunier.
He made his Currie Cup debut in 2010, and impressed to the extent that he was handed both the Currie Cup and Super XV captaincy in 2011.
Strauss quickly established himself as a cult figure with supporters both through his rambunctious style of play and distinctive full-length beard.
The facial fuzz sadly bit the dust after he guided the Golden Lions to Currie Cup triumph last year, when it was “forcibly removed” by teammate Wikus van Heerden.
Date of Birth: 23 October 1986
Past clubs/regions: Boland, Lons-le-Saunier, Golden Lions, Lions