Schalk Brits will play for the Barbarians at Twickenham six months after ‘retiring’ from the professional game as part of the playing programme designed to carry him through to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
The hooker was supposed to have hung up his boots after clinching a fourth Premiership crown with Saracens to go with two Champions Cup victories.
Instead the 37-year-old returned inside a month to win an 11th cap for South Africa, acted as a mentor during the Rugby Championship and is lining up provincial rugby in South Africa as he plots a path to the World Cup.
A further step on the road will be the Killik Cup match for the Barbarians against Argentina on December 1, when the famous invitation side will be overseen by current Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus.
“I missed rugby so much I’ve changed my mind,” said Brits of his short-lived retirement.
PLAYER NEWS 🗞
A familiar face is back & will be in action for us v @lospumas 🇦🇷 at Twickenham….
Welcome back @SchalkBrits 🇿🇦💪
— Barbarian FC (@Barbarian_FC) October 9, 2018
“I got a call from Rassie with reference to keep being involved until the next World Cup. After the June tests I still want to keep on playing and I’ve postponed work and my studies until after then.
“A friend said to me recently, ‘what’s the difference between being 37 and 38?’ It’s a fantastic opportunity and an honour whenever you play for the Springboks so I’ll be trying to stay in contention.
“I’ve been staying on top of things and I’m in better nick that when I was playing. You get the chance to rehabilitate properly and I’m feeling fantastic and can’t wait to play again. I enjoyed playing against England at Newlands but we lost that Test so I hope the next time will bring a better result.”
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