Christiaan Petrus Strauss
- 752Wallaby Number
‘Tiaan’ Strauss was the first fully fledged Springbok to play Test rugby for Australia.
Born in Cape Town, Strauss was an outstanding ball playing No. 8 / flanker who attended Upington High School and, after graduation, the famous rugby nursery that is Stellenbosch University.
He represented South Africa U20s, played 158 games for Western Province and won 15 caps for the Springboks. In 1994 he captained South Africa against New Zealand in Dunedin however the following year was controversially omitted from the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup squad just a month before the tournament began.
Unsurprisingly disenchanted with South African rugby Strauss came to Sydney and, oddly, played two seasons of rugby league with the Cronulla Sharks. He returned to rugby in 1998 with Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs club and from there made his debut for New South Wales. Having fulfilled his requirements for Australian citizenship, a strong Super Rugby season pushed him to the forefront of Wallaby selection. Strauss’ hard work and dedication paid off in 1999 when he made his Test debut against Ireland in Brisbane and went on to be picked in the Wallaby squad for the Rugby World Cup.
Strauss played 11 Tests in his one year of international rugby for Australia.
Strauss won his first Wallaby Test cap off the bench when he replaced Toutai Kefu at No.8 in the 46-10, 1st Test victory over Ireland in Brisbane. Amazingly, as a replacement, Strauss became just the second Wallaby to score a hat-trick of tries in his debut match. He made his run-on XV debut in the 15-34, 1st Test loss to New Zealand in Auckland. Strauss played a total of 11 Tests of which Australia won nine.