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Schalk Brits hangs up his boots - for good this time


The oldest member of the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup (RWC) winning squad, Schalk Brits, has retired from rugby for the second time in two years, but he insists this time it’s the real deal as he reflects on a career that ended on the highest of high notes in Japan.

The 38-year-old Brits was lured out of retirement in 2018 by Bok coach Rassie Erasmus to join the Springbok squad – after a career that included 74 Super Rugby caps with the Lions, Stormers, Bulls and more than 200 appearances for English powerhouse Saracens.

Before that, Brits hadn’t played in Green and Gold since the Rugby World Cup in 2015. And although he played in 15 Tests in an international career spanning 12 seasons, the ever-smiling, hot-stepping hooker retired as a Springbok captain with a RWC winners’ medal around his neck.

“Schalk was an invaluable member of our squad and someone who not only lifted the spirit among the players, but set an example with his professionalism and superb work-rate throughout the last two seasons,” said Erasmus.

Brits said as the Boks’ season progressed and they won the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, the belief in the squad that they could go all the way, started to grow. “The Rugby World Cup in Japan was an amazing experience for all of us – we decided to embrace Japan and make the most of it.”

“Leaving Japan with a gold medal was obviously great, but even if we hadn’t won, I would still have loved going to Japan, being part of an amazing tournament and a wonderful Springbok squad.”  - (ANA).

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