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Springbok to lead World XV

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Former Springbok to lead World XV in Japan

Former Springboks and Bulls hooker Adriaan Strauss will captain the World XV for their upcoming match against Japan later this month.

According to Japanese newspaper Kyodo News, the team will be coached by former Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans and current Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson. Deans now coaches Panasonic in Japan’s Top League.

Australians Ben Alexander and Sam Carter have been confirmed as participants, as has two-time Rugby World Cup winner and All Black centurion Ma’a Nonu.

The game will be played at Osaka’s Hanazono Rugby Stadium to mark the renewal of the iconic ground.

Last year, Deans and Robertson teamed up to coach the Barbarians side that gave the All Blacks a scare before falling 22-31 at Twickenham.

Strauss, who has experience playing under Deans as part of the World XV that beat Japan 47-27 in Fukuoka last year, will be joined by fellow South Africans Willie Britz, Harold Vorster, Corne Fourie, Hencus van Wyk, Lionel Cronje and Jason Jenkins, who are all – with the exception of Fourie – currently playing in the Japanese Top League.

32-year-old Strauss confirmed he would retire from playing at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season in June this year, so this match may be his last.

Strauss captained South Africa in 2016 and is the country’s most capped player at Super Rugby level with 156 appearances made over a 14-year career.

Further members will be added to the World XV squad in the coming days, with the final line-up set to be confirmed on October 21.

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Former Springbok to lead World XV in Japan