Mobile Brits gets Bok all-clear

2014-06-02 20:30
Schalk Brits (Getty Images)

Cape Town – He played all 100 punishing minutes of the English Premiership rugby final last weekend, but livewire hooker Schalk Brits looks as though he will be in the Springbok match-day frame for this Saturday’s match against a World XV at Newlands.

The global combination, coached by Nick Mallett, will field an array of game-breakers, in keeping with the tradition of fixtures of this kind, and although the Boks are likely to start with juggernaut first-choice Bismarck du Plessis in the No 2 jersey, Brits’s own dynamic brand of rugby might well come in extremely useful off the bench at some stage in the second half.

Sharks captain Du Plessis, after all, is among several Boks from the pace-setting franchise to have carried a heavy Super Rugby load in recent weeks, including the ever-demanding four-match overseas leg and then shock reverse to a weakened Stormers side in a Durban derby on Saturday.

Given that Mallett will probably ring plenty of changes himself during the course of the friendly fixture, Heyneke Meyer ought to follow suit in a pretty significant way, as Wales loom large for a two-Test series immediately afterwards and certain of his charges have been overplayed of late.

Bok team doctor Craig Roberts confirmed at a press briefing on Monday evening that Saracens stalwart Brits had come through the marathon Premiership final against Northampton – who snatched it right at the end of extra time – largely unscathed.

“Usual bumps and bruises after the weekend’s matches, but nothing too major,” Roberts said following the first Bok training session.

“Most of the overseas-based guys came in as well and they’re fine ... Schalk is just a bit stiff and sore after playing all 100 minutes of rugby (at Twickenham), but we’re happy with all of them at the moment.”

Brits gave another full-blooded, typically energetic performance in a match Sarries looked for all money to have clinched until the last-gasp try setback beneath their posts.

With new cap Callie Visagie of the Bulls the only other hooker in the present squad, the London-based former Lions and Stormers man, 33, seems an obvious choice as back-up hooker on Saturday.

Brits has earned five caps for the Boks, starting in 2008; his last appearance was as a substitute against England in November 2012 when South Africa squeezed home 16-15.

Roberts confirmed that utility back Frans Steyn had a “chronic problem” in his right knee, where some cartilage was missing, and he was being carefully managed, as had been the case in the Sharks camp of late.

“Every now and then if he does too much, especially kicking, the knee swells up. So it’s about managing his load which really means controlling the volume (of work) he does at training.

“So he can play 80 minutes, as long as his load during the week is managed ... but he is available (for Saturday).”

Whether Steyn actually plays, or just how much time on the park he will get in that event, remains to be seen – the Bok team, also yet to have a confirmed acting captain at the time of writing, is announced on Wednesday.

Roberts also indicated that another seasoned Bok, loose forward Schalk Burger, should be eligible for consideration.

“We’ve been monitoring Schalk (who has a neck injury) and he has been improving slowly; it’s a joint irritation and it takes some time but he is a lot better today than he was last week.

“It’s a day-by-day thing ... we kept him out of the contact part of training today but I think he’ll settle down nicely and should be fine for the weekend.” 

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    springboks  |  schalk brits  |  cape town  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 12 November 2016
Germany v Uruguay, Volksbank Stadion 18:45
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Canada v Usa, BMO Stadium 01:00
Saturday, 17 June 2017
Canada v Usa, BMO Stadium 01:00
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Belgium v Brazil, Petit Heysel 16:00
Saturday, 09 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Auckland 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Brisbane 12:05
South Africa v England, Johannesburg 17:05
Saturday, 16 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Wellington 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Melbourne 12:05
South Africa v England, Bloemfontein 17:05

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.