Schalk Brits, who recently retired from professional rugby, may be in line for a quick return to the game, with Netwerk24 reporting that he could be set to join the Bulls next season.
Brits, 37, turned out for the Springboks in the third Test with England last month and instead of being billed as a fitting finale to the South African’s illustrious career, it has raised questions over whether or not the hooker could be in the mix for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The former Saracens player was coy on his future in post-match interviews but refused to rule anything out.
After arriving in north London in 2009, Brits went on to win multiple Premiership and European Rugby Champions Cup titles with the club, ripped up the textbook on how hookers in the competition should play and showed none of the signs of slowing down in his 30’s that the majority of players encounter. Even in his last season, at the age of 36, Brits was pivotal to helping Saracens win their fourth title during his stint at the club.
The Bulls have had an up and down season in 2018 under new head coach John Mitchell, flashing a new-found ability with ball-in-hand, but also lacking the consistency to truly challenge for a spot in the competition’s playoffs. The arrival of Brits would certainly bring experience to the group and provide a more than able replacement for the retiring Adriaan Strauss.
Brits isn’t the only player linked with the Bulls, with Netwerk24 also reporting that Duane Vermeulen, 32, could be set to make the move to Pretoria, too.
Between Brits and Vermeulen, the pair would bring 28 years of professional rugby experience to Mitchell’s side, with Brits lifting seven trophies in his nine seasons with Saracens and Vermeulen a consistent performer at the highest level, winning 42 caps with the Springboks.
For a competition that has to more regularly deal with losing experienced players, the potential addition of this veteran pair could prove to be quite the coup for Mitchell.
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