Two hookers, both strongly fancied as starters for their national sides South Africa and Australia, will be up against each other in a Super Rugby clash on Friday night when the Brumbies host the Bulls at the GIO Stadium in Canberra.
Brumbies’ Stephen Moore and Bulls Adriaan Strauss will probably also clash in the Rugby Championship when SA and Australia meet in Brisbane in September and Loftus Versfeld in early October.
Moore returns to the Brumbies line-up after missing last week’s 23-10 loss to the Highlanders in Invercargill due to a serious cork to his calf.
The 33-year old has tallied 157 Super Rugby caps, putting him fifth on the all-time list and second amongst active players.
He is in line to overtake Nathan Sharpe as Australia’s most capped Super Rugby player ever later this season.
In 2015, Moore took over the Brumbies captaincy and in 2016 he is co-captain along with Christian Lealiifano. His leadership has been integral to the Brumbies success in recent years.
Moore has also made 102 appearances for the Wallabies, becoming captain of the national side in 2014. He led the Wallabies to the 2015 Rugby World Cup final where they fell agonisingly short, losing to the All Blacks in a thriller.
Moore’s has been in career-best form over the opening rounds of the 2016 competition, scoring three tries and making four clean breaks after beating nine defenders. He also has two try assists to his name.
Strauss has been one of Super Rugby’s best hookers for the better part of a decade. He made his Super Rugby debut for the Bulls in 2006, making eight appearances that season.
Following his debut season, he made the move to Bloemfontein with the Cheetahs and that’s where his career really took off.
Strauss was the Cheetahs captain for almost eight years, leading them to a couple of Super Rugby finals appearances before moving back to the Bulls in 2015.
Strauss made his Springbok debut in 2008 and has gone on to make 54 appearances for the side, selected for two World Cup squads in the process.
Strauss took over the Bulls captaincy in 2016 and the 30-year-old has been at his damaging best.
Strauss’ physicality around the park has been key for the Bulls, who have only suffered one loss in the opening 10 rounds of the competition.
The hooker has scored four tries already this season and he will be looking to add to his tally against the Brumbies.
– African News Agency (ANA)