One month after South Africa won the World Cup, recently retired hooker Schalk Brits has described the “craziest month” of his life. 


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. 

The Saracens legend took to Instagram to describe winning the showcase in Japan as a “moment I will never forget”, but he also reflected on his entire career. 

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.”

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. 

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.


However, he made his return to Super Rugby at the beginning of this year with the Bulls and has now finished the year as a Rugby Championship and RWC winner. 

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. 

WATCH: RugbyPass Rugby Explorer takes a trek through South African rugby, stopping off in the rugby communities in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth

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