Brits loving life as the oldest member of the Bok's World Cup-bound group

Schalk Brits says he has never imagined himself captainig the Springboks.
Schalk Brits says he has never imagined himself captainig the Springboks.
Image: Springboks/Twitter

In 1999 when Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus was part of World Cup group as a player‚ Schalk Brits was a blockbusting hooker at Paul Roos Gimnasium.

At a time when most of Brits's peers have long retired or didn't even give professional rugby a chance‚ he will be going to the Rugby World Cup.

In a modern age where front-row forwards who are 35 years old and above are often consigned to the scrapheap‚ Brits is loving life as the oldest member of the Springbok 31-man group that'll be leaving for Japan on Friday for the World Cup.


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Some of his teammates wouldn't even know how good Brits was as a schoolboy player and the fact that they played in baggy rugby jerseys.

That's how old Brits is but then again‚ he's comfortable with being a old head.

In the 2015 World Cup group‚ he was the joint second oldest player with Jean de Villiers while Victor Matfield was the oldest in the team.

Veteran Springboks hooker Schalk Brits (R) with fellow hooker and teammate Scarra Ntubeni (R) during the captains run at Loftus in Pretoria on August 16 2019.
Veteran Springboks hooker Schalk Brits (R) with fellow hooker and teammate Scarra Ntubeni (R) during the captains run at Loftus in Pretoria on August 16 2019.
Image: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

“I just had an interview with the SA Legends and they asked me as to when am I joining them?

"I can still remember Jannie de Beer kicking a few drop goals against England and for me back in 1999‚ that was quite inspiring.

"It was also about me getting my degree and doing something else and 20 years later‚ I'm fortunately still here‚” Brits chuckled.

“Being here at the young age of 38 is unbelievable.

"Regardless of age‚ we have a young group of players‚ a hard working group and good management. The guys have put in a lot of sacrifices and that applies to everyone here.”

With Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx being younger and excelling as hookers‚ Brits won't be starting or on the bench in each game.

His jovial personality seemingly made light of that‚ even though his good form this season also caused some headaches for Erasmus.

Schalk Brits will be vital for the Springboks in the dressing room at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Schalk Brits will be vital for the Springboks in the dressing room at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Image: BackpagePix

While Erasmus was slightly concerned with the relative lack of experience in the squad‚ Brits‚ along with Tendai Mtawarira and a few others in the squad have been to other World Cups to know what's required to reach the business end of the tournament.

Experience‚ though‚ has always taught Brits that the team goal always comes first‚ even though individual brilliance often comes to the fore.

“It's about working hard‚ supporting my team mates and having fun‚" he said.

"In 20 years time when I'm nearly 50‚ all I'll have is memories. Hopefully it'll be successful in the end because with hard work‚ there's a bit of fun to go with it‚” Brits said.

“I'm still old school in regards with that. I want to work hard‚ but I also want to have fun as well.”

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