Cheetahs refused Strauss request

Adriaan Strauss left the Cheetahs because they wouldn't agree to an independent investigation into their rugby.

After weeks of speculation the Bulls announced the signing of Strauss on Tuesday morning, along with other Cheetahs players Trevor Nyakane, Lappies Labuschagne and Jumba Ulengo. The capture of the Springbok hooker is a major coup for the Bulls after he signed a two-year deal to make the move back to Pretoria. Strauss had deliberated for weeks over the decision before eventually deciding that his future lay away from Bloemfontein.

'I was very happy in the Free State,' Strauss told 'I was happy but with the negotiations we couldn’t come to an agreement and I respect their decision in that. I have had some amazing times in Bloemfontein but I have to look at my career path going forward and I’m excited at the prospect of returning to Pretoria.'

According to Volksblad, the breakdown in negotiations is said to have surrounded a clause involving an independent investigation into Cheetahs rugby. While Strauss had advocated that a fresh perspective was required to move the team forward, the move was refused by the Cheetahs.

'They communicated well through the whole process, and told me the clause was not acceptable and I accept their reasons for that. The Cheetahs have a good group of players and their Currie Cup preparation is going well at the moment, so on the one hand it is a bit bad to leave when there is so much potential here.'

Strauss, the 2013 Super Rugby Player of the Year, will return to the place where he made both his Currie Cup and Super Rugby debuts. He has since gone on to win 105 Super Rugby caps (eight for the Bulls), and has represented his country on 34 occasions. Having left Loftus Versfeld still wet behind the ears, he returns as a seasoned Springbok.

'My first three years of [professional] rugby were in Pretoria. I enjoyed them a lot and learned so much from the coaches and players around there. It was a phase of my life that was good for me and I feel a move back there now will be good for my rugby. It is difficult to leave the Free State, because my heart and soul has been invested here for so long, but a new challenge is never a bad thing and I respect the fact that things change and I’m excited to take this challenge head on.'

Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images