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
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
"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
on Saturday is at 17:05.
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
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