Springboks

Rassie praises Schalk Brits influence on Boks

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

Cape Town - His playing time might have been limited, but Springbok hooker Schalk Brits played a major role in South Africa's 2018 season. 

That is the view of national coach Rassie Erasmus, who has come in for some criticism for his relentless backing of Brits while the likes of Akker van der Merwe and Chiliboy Ralepelle have been overlooked. 

At the age of 37, Brits had retired from professional rugby at the end of last season after almost a decade at English club Saracens. 

Erasmus, though, had other ideas and quickly lured the former Stormers man back into the game and Brits will now be joining the Bulls ahead of the 2019 Super Rugby season. 

He looks a shoo-in for the 2019 World Cup squad at this stage, and in an exclusive interview with SuperSport commentator Matt Pearce, Erasmus explained the value he sees in Brits, particularly in how he had mentored Bongi Mbonambi on the end-of-year European tour. 

"If you look at Bongi and how he struggled in the Currie Cup final and then, four weeks later, he comes off the bench against France, hits five lineouts and scores the winning try," Erasmus said.

"I think Schalk Brits had a massive role in that.

"Bongi is not a guy who has 50 Test caps. Before a World Cup, to get a guy like him working with a guy like Schalk Brits is great.

"Schalk is not a guy just looking for a position, he is there to help (Mbonambi) with his throwing, his scrumming and European conditions.

"It's not to say that Chili and Akker and all the other great hookers we have do not have a chance, but I just felt that for that tour Schalk was what we needed. We'll see ... Schalk is going to play a whole Super Rugby season for the Bulls."

Brits, who was also a member of the 2015 World Cup squad, has just 11 Test caps to his name since making his debut all the way back in 2008. 

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