Less than a week ago a ‘retired’ Schalk Brits was enjoying a beer and braai – having watched the Springboks as a spectator at Ellis Park.
Now he has ‘formally’ come out of retirement.
The 37-year-old, 10-times capped Bok hooker did not make the announcement of his short-lived retirement having come to an end.
It was South African coach Rassie Erasmus – also the Director of Rugby of the SA Rugby Union – that dropped the bombshell that Brits is no longer retired.
When Erasmus called up the veteran hooker – who had formally retired after winning the Premiership with Saracens on May 26 – it was suggested it would only be a temporarily recall for the duration of the June Internationals.
However, Erasmus revealed that Brits is in the running to represent his country at the World Cup next year.
Erasmus admitted he was tempted to use Brits in the second Test against England, in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
“We will see how this week goes,” he said, with a view to the third and final Test in Cape Town on June 23.
Erasmus added that, looking towards the World Cup in Japan next year, he wants five hookers he “can trust”.
“We are testing, mixing and matching, seeing how the players do,” the coach said.
“We will definitely use him [Brits] going forward.
“He is not totally retired from rugby, but [we decided] not [to use him] in this game.
“It is not fair [to the other players], just like when Duane [Vermeulen], Willie [le Roux] and the guys came back. You can’t just come in, have two training sessions and be as good as the guys who trained for two or three weeks [with the team] –
“No matter how good he is, he has to settle in and get used to our ways [of doing things].”
England scrum coach Neal Hatley this week described Erasmus’ decision to recall Brits to his squad as “a good move”.
“It is a clever move and Rassie is very similar to Eddie [England coach Eddie Jones] in that vein,” said Hatley.
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