There's been a dramatic twist in Schalk Brits' search for a new club
Brits, 37, was scheduled to join the Cape Town based Super Rugby squad but financial problems affecting the franchise became a major factor. The Western Province Union, which has the Stormers as its franchise, has been battling serious financial issues with reports they are planning to contract 60 players less in 2019 than they did this year.
Nizaam Carr, who joined Wasps, Dewaldt Duvenage and Raymond Rhule were amongst the first to be released. Western Province have been forced to deny they are imposing a 25 per cent cut on all staff, management and players earning more than R20 000 a month.
He has now signed for the Bulls, who in contrast has reported a profit for the last year thanks to the £200,000 they received in compensation from the Rugby Football Union who wanted head coach John Mitchell as England’s defence coach.
Brits hopes the move will help in his bid to prove he deserves to make the Springboks World Cup squad in Japan.
Brits spent a decade at Saracens helping them to European and Premiership glory and retired at the end of last season to bid for a place at Cambridge University with the aim of taking part in the Varsity Match. That has been put on hold but he still wants to undertake a course and play in one of the most famous rugby fixtures in the sport once his season with the Bulls is over and any World Cup involvement is finished.
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Brits is in the Barbarians match squad to face Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday having had to bide his time as an unused member of the Springboks European tour squad. The Baabaas are coached by Rassie Erasmus, the Springboks coach, who believes Brits input could be vital in a team lacking experience heading into the World Cup.
Brits, who has won 11 caps, has kept himself fit with a punishing training programme and is relishing the thought of getting back into action against the Pumas. He told RugbyPass; “ I planned to go the Stormers but then I received a message saying they had financial issues and so now I will be joining the Bulls. I will start training with the Bulls in January and it is fantastic to be joining them and while it is for one season it is exciting. After the World Cup I am definitely done!
“I have been waiting a while to get my boots on and I am really looking forward to Saturday’s match against a very good Pumas team. I will have to merit my selection for the Bulls and if I am successful then I will give myself a chance with Boks to make the World Cup.”
Tickets for the Barbarians v Argentina Killik Cup match start at £20. www.ticketmaster.co.uk/barbarians
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