After winning the RWC in Japan, the 38-year-old announced his retirement from the game but returned for a final match for the Barbarians against Wales at the Principality Stadium last Saturday.
After replacing the fellow-retired Rory Best, Brits spearheaded a comeback for the Barbarians, although they still fell short on a 43-33.
Alongside photos of himself holding the Webb Ellis Cup, his team-mates and his winners’ medal, as well as the viral video of him thanking a ballboy in Japan, Brits said: “It’s been an epic journey. Unbelievable adventure. Filled with the most amazing people. Strangers who became friends who became family. What an honour it has been. Thank you for your love and support.”
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One month ago – a moment I will never forget – Rugby World Cup Champions 2019 ! Craziest month of my life ! And one month later I bow out of the sport I love and that has been so good to me. It’s been an epic journey. Unbelievable adventure. Filled with the most amazing people. Strangers who became friends who became family. What an honour it has been. Thank you for your love and support ? #brothersforlife #rwc2019 #nextchapterbegins #whatdoretiredrugbyplayersdo? ?
Despite already retiring in 2018, this does look like it is the final goodbye from one of rugby’s most loved characters. While Rassie Erasmus was able to lure him out of retirement for a run that culminated in the World Cup, it seems very unlikely now he will return again as he is set to attend Cambridge University and might line out in the famed varsity match.
There is no denying this has been one of rugby’s most intriguing stories in 2019, as it has only been in the latter years of his career that Brits has been appreciated by the Springboks.
‘I have only slept for 13 days in seven months at home’
– @SchalkBrits, who will be with the @Barbarian_FC next week, tells @chrisjonespress his future plans after sacrificing so much for @Springboks and @rugbyworldcuphttps://t.co/Oib2TEahsr
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 14, 2019
Although he made his international debut in 2008, he made the move to London that same year which looked like it would all but end his Springboks career.
Although he was recalled to the national team periodically off the back of his time with Saracens, he still would not have dreamt that he would be winning the RWC in 2019, particularly after announcing his retirement the previous year.
? Ever-smiling @SchalkBrits says goodbye
? Bok captain and RWC winner retires … again
? "This was about the journey, experiences and making memories."
— Springboks (@Springboks) November 13, 2019
Even in his final game, the 15-cap Springbok showed all the characteristics that have made him so popular, not only by playing the game with a smile on his face but with his energy and dynamism around the field. This does, however, look to be the end of a brilliant career.
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