Rassie explains Schalk Brits situation

Schalk Brits (Gallo Images)
Schalk Brits (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has explained the situation regarding hooker Schalk Brits who was not included in Monday's Springbok Rugby Championship squad.

Brits, who is 37-years-old, came off the bench for the Boks in their 25-10 loss to England at Newlands in June. 

He was a surprise call-up to the Springbok squad back then, given that he had just announced his retirement from rugby following a nine-year stint at English club Saracens. 

Brits had said following the completion of that Cape Town Test that he would discuss his future with Erasmus to see if there was still a place for him in the Bok mix moving forward, but he will not feature in this year's Rugby Championship. 

Brits also plans to study a masters degree in business administration at the University of Cambridge, where he was due to play club rugby as part of his studies. 

Speaking to media in Stellenbosch on Monday, Erasmus helped clarify the situation. 

The three hookers in the squad are Malcolm Marx, Akker van der Merwe and Bongi Mbonambi, and it seems that Erasmus is happy to take that trio to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan if they all remain fit. 

But, between now and then, the coach would like to include Brits in some way to keep him on as a back-up option should there be injury concerns in the position.

"If we go with the three hookers we have and take them to the World Cup, I think we can win a World Cup with them and their quality," Erasmus said.

"But I think if a guy like Malcolm goes down and we go into the World Cup with the other two boys and then there is another injury, I think we're in trouble.

"That's why a guy like Bismarck (Du Plessis) or Schalk Brits, or somebody like that ... they might not even make the World Cup squad if the other three stay fit, but in terms of solid experience and having been there and done that, they could come in."

Erasmus had said previously that he would like Brits to ideally find a professional club to play out of, but that has not yet happened.

"We are in the process of discussing it," Erasmus said.

"He was going to retire, he is definitely fit enough and he is in talks with a few clubs.

"I would like to try him here and there to keep him in the mix and keep him interested and part of the plans, but it hasn't been sorted out yet."

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