Rugby

One more season for Schalk Brits

2017-09-04 14:24
Schalk Brits (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Saracens veteran Schalk Brits is adamant this will be his last season despite his remarkable display in the 55-24 thrashing of Northampton on Saturday.

Brits, 36, was talked out of retirement at the end of last season and persuaded by Saracens coach Mark McCall to stay on for one more year.

And after his heroics on the weekend, Saracens will be even more sad to see him go. Even England captain and Brits' opposite number Dylan Hartley was in awe of his performance.

"We're all different aren't we? I wish I could do some of that stuff," Hartley said in a post-match interview.

Brits' age-defying displays have even prompted mentor McCall to refer to him as the 'Peter Pan' of rugby.

But on Saturday, about three hours prior to kick-off at Twickenham, Brits posted a message on his Twitter account confirming his decision to retire, squashing any thoughts of him prolonging his career.

And he was equally as resolute after the game: "This will definitely be my last season."

Meanwhile, Brits has revealed that McCall's persuasion tactics centred around the fact that a number of experienced individuals were leaving the side.

Jim Hamilton, Neil de Kock, Jacques Burger and Alastair Hargreaves all retired while Petrus du Plessis was moving on and this left a big hole at Saracens in terms of experience.

"There was always an inkling to play another one, from a cultural point of view we have lost some big individuals so I have decided to do one more," Brits told The Guardian.

And he is relishing the role he has to play in mentoring the next assembly line of Saracens players.

"I am 36 and it is time to say goodbye to this lovely game but there is still a season and my role is to play as best as I can and to help the other guys as well. With (fellow hookers) JG (Jamie George), Christopher (Tolofua) and Scotty (Spurling) there my role has changed a little bit."

However, the 10-capped Springbok is determined to finish his illustrious career on a high. And what a legacy it will be, with some saying he is the best import the Premiership has ever seen.

"It has never been about the titles. It has always been about making memories with friends," Brits said. "A lot of people look at the end result and they determine their success by that.

"We determine it by progress and the amount of memories we have made and that is quite a different way of looking at it. That is what makes it quite different to the previous rugby organisations I have been involved with.

"But it is time to sit back and have a beer and enjoy watching it and not just get bashed up."

Read more on:    saracens  |  schalk brits  |  rugby
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