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Strauss: 'You have to just put your head down, work and get on with it and hopefully we can get a bit of success here now at Leinster at the end of the season'

Strauss: 'You have to just put your head down, work and get on with it and hopefully we can get a bit of success here now at Leinster at the end of the season'

SPORTSFILE

Strauss: 'You have to just put your head down, work and get on with it and hopefully we can get a bit of success here now at Leinster at the end of the season'

As Saturday afternoons go, Richardt Strauss' isn't one he'll remember too fondly.

Having not been selected for Ireland's Six Nations triumph in Murrayfield, Strauss had intended to watch the game at home but for an unsavoury incident involving his wife's car, a smashed window and a stolen handbag.

The South African-born hooker spent the afternoon cleaning up the mess and missed the epic final day, but for a player who still harbours a major desire to make Joe Schmidt's World Cup squad, he didn't exactly feel like celebrating.

"I was in the environment and playing but it is hard for me to celebrate like the lads because I didn't have any kind of impact or contribution so it is tough," he admitted.

"It's good to see their success. You are delighted for them and wish you were there, but then that's life.

"You have to just put your head down, work and get on with it and hopefully we can get a bit of success here now at Leinster at the end of the season."

While Leinster yesterday added Cian Healy and Sean O'Brien to their Champions Cup squad, neither are expected to play in Friday night's Pro12 game against Glasgow, which will give fringe players like Strauss another chance to impress.

Strauss spent three years working under Schmidt at Leinster.

The Ireland coach knows the qualities that he brings but the 29-year-old doesn't expect his previous relationship to have that much of an effect on his final decision.

Strauss made his Ireland debut three years ago against his home country and came up against his cousin Adriaan Strauss in the front-row.

"Joe is very fair and would always do what is best for the squad," Strauss said.

"I don't think he will let previous relationships influence the way he thinks, and he is surrounded by a good group of coaches.

"He knows everybody in the squad and you get decent feedback after every tournament, so most of the lads would have a good understanding about where they stand and what they need to work on before the World Cup."

Having seen Leinster colleague Luke Fitzgerald start his first international in four years last weekend, Strauss says that it is comforting to see a player be rewarded for his provincial form.

REASSURING

"For everybody it is reassuring to see that if you work hard and get in form then you will get your opportunities so it is up to us," he said.

"Joe is pretty fair and constant with his selections and the way he thinks so it is up to the lads who weren't there or didn't get any time to put our hands up and force his hand a bit."

Strauss' plan from now until the end of the season is to replicate what Fitzgerald has done, and with Sean Cronin to come back into the fold, he is only too aware that Friday's game is crucial, both to the team and to him personally.

"We let ourselves down in the Six Nations bloc where we had done pretty well in the past," he said of Leinster's recent Pro12 slip-ups.

"We have to step up now this weekend which is probably one of the toughest games we will have all year.

" If I get an opportunity to play I need to make the decision difficult for the coaches further down the line."

Irish Independent