Sport / Rugby

Heinz Schenk
1 minute read
11 Jun 2018
1:24 pm

Why Rassie Erasmus has picked a retired 37-year-old

Heinz Schenk

Schalk Brits played his last competitive game for English giants Saracens two weeks ago. Now he's in the Springbok squad!

Schalk Brits. Photo: Getty Images.

Schalk Brits has “been there and done that”, which is the main reason why he was added to the Springbok squad for the remainder of the series against England.

National coach Rassie Erasmus could hardly have been more clearer on a decision that can be considered interesting.

The 37-year-old hooker actually retired from rugby a few weeks back following a 10-year stint at English giants Saracens.

But the way others such as Duane Vermeulen and Willie le Roux have influenced the more inexperienced players in the squad has prompted Erasmus to recruit Brits.

“I feel the more guys you have in your setup that have ‘been there and done that’, the more the younger guys learn from them,” the Bok mentor said on Monday.

“It’s good for them to rub shoulders with them and learn some of the smaller things. Schalk knows the England side very well.”

Erasmus also believes the fact that South African players are now scattered around the world presents great opportunities to tap into their knowledge, especially when specific opponents are faced.

“The landscape has changed since I’ve played. Guys like Schalk are far more relevant,” he said.

“These guys play in different competitions in different countries and against different teams. They also do so with different styles. These guys always bring something to the party, we saw it with Willie, Faf and Duane.

“I know Schalk really well, I’ve coached him. I know what he can contribute.”

Brits will remain with the squad until the end of the three-match series.