Rugby | Rassie explains decision to call up retired Brits

Cape Town – Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has explained the decision to call up retired hooker Schalk Brits to his squad ahead of the second Test against England in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Brits retired from all rugby at the end of the 2017/18 season with English club Saracens, but Erasmus clearly feels that the 37-year-old still has a lot to offer. 

Bongi Mbonambi gave a strong performance in the No 2 jersey at Ellis Park while Akker van der Merwe is an explosive option off the bench, but Erasmus feels that Brits’ experience can prove useful. 

“We all know we wanted to get Bismarck (Du Plessis) in,” said Erasmus on Monday.

“I feel the more guys we have that have been there and done that, the more the younger guys learn from them and rub shoulders with them and get to understand some of the smaller things.”

Erasmus is hoping that Brits, who last played for the Boks in the 2015 World Cup, will be able to provide the players with certain snippets of knowledge that he himself might not be able to. 

“From when we still played, things have changed a little bit,” Erasmus said.

“I think the guys who are more relevant and have played in different competitions and against different countries with different styles … they always bring something to the part, which we saw with Willie, Faf and Duane.

“I know Schalk really well. I coached him for a while and I know what he will bring for us. He’ll be with us up until the end of next week and then after that we will re-assess.”

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