Springboks

Brits' unlikely Bok return to Newlands

2018-06-21 16:27
Schalk Brits (Gallo)

Cape Town - On Thursday, Schalk Brits was named on the Springbok bench for Saturday's third Test against England at Newlands. 

Exactly 10 years earlier, to the day, on June 21, 2008, the now-37-year-old made his Springbok debut at the same venue off the bench against Italy. 

It has been an international career that has spanned over a decade, but in that time Brits has notched up just 10 Bok caps and only one start. 

A permanent move to London and Saracens in 2009 ensured that Brits' international career was limited, though he was part of Heyneke Meyer's 2015 World Cup squad. 

But, following the end of that tournament, it seemed almost certain that Brits had played his final Test. 

Two more seasons for Saracens followed, but at the end of 2017/18 the mobile hooker hung up his boots for good. 

Rassie Erasmus, though, had other ideas and when Bismarck du Plessis was ruled out of the Bok squad for the England Tests, Brits got an unexpected call. 

The result is that, on Saturday, he will make his 11th Test appearance at the venue where it first started for him all those years ago. 

"It's a nice occasion for Schalk and if he retires after this it is at Newlands where he started," Erasmus said of Brits.

"If he doesn't then that's wonderful and we can see how long we can keep him going. It's an exciting, fitting way to get Schalk into the mix."

Erasmus added that he had no concerns whatsoever surrounding Brits' match fitness levels.

"Without a doubt," Erasmus responded confidently when asked if Brits could play 80 minutes if required. 

"I promise you, he's probably the fittest of the four hookers here."

Chiliboy Ralepelle, meanwhile, has been named as the starting hooker for Saturday and will earn his 25th cap. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.

Teams:

South Africa

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Willie le Roux

England

15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Ben Spencer, 23 Denny Solomona 

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