Strauss made his international debut for South Africa on 19 July 2008 coming off the bench against Australia in the Tri Nations. He stayed with the team for the remainder of the Tri Nations earning 5 caps, but missed out on the November tour to the UK following the return of John Smit to action with Chiliboy Ralepelle leapfrogging him in the selection order. He scored both of his first two tries for the Springboks in one test on 18 November 2012 against Scotland at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.
Strauss was selected for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where he became South Africa's first-choice hooker. Strauss was also promoted to captain of the Springboks in 2016. In 2017 he announced his international retirement, after he captained the 'Boks thrice in 2016.