Brits describes 'craziest month' of his life
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Exactly one month after South Africa won the World Cup, recently retired hooker Schalk Brits has described the “craziest month” of his life.
After winning the World Cup, the 38-year-old announced his retirement from the game, but returned for a final match for the Barbarians against Wales at the Principality Stadium on Saturday. After replacing the fellow retired Rory Best, Brits spearheaded a comeback for the Barbarians, although they still fell 33-43.
The Saracens legend took to Instagram to describe winning the showcase in Japan as a “moment I will never forget”, but also reflected on his entire career.
Alongside photos of himself holding the Webb Ellis Cup, his teammates and the winners medal, as well as the viral video of him thanking a ballboy in Japan, Brits said: “It’s been an epic journey. Unbelievable adventure. Filled with the most amazing people. Strangers who became friends who became family. What an honour it has been. Thank you for your love and support.”
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One month ago – a moment I will never forget – Rugby World Cup Champions 2019 ! Craziest month of my life ! And one month later I bow out of the sport I love and that has been so good to me. It’s been an epic journey. Unbelievable adventure. Filled with the most amazing people. Strangers who became friends who became family. What an honour it has been. Thank you for your love and support 🙏 #brothersforlife #rwc2019 #nextchapterbegins #whatdoretiredrugbyplayersdo? 😂
Despite already retiring in 2018, this does look like it is the final goodbye from one of rugby’s most loved characters. While Rassie Erasmus was able to lure him out of retirement at the beginning of the year, it seems very unlikely now, as he is set to attend Cambridge University.
There’s no denying that this has been one of rugby’s most intriguing stories, as it has only been in the latter years of his career that Brits has been appreciated by the Springboks. Although he made his international debut in 2008, he made the move to London that same year, which looked like it would all but end his Springboks career.
Although he was recalled to the national team periodically off the back of his time with Saracens, he still would not have dreamt that he would be winning the World Cup in 2019, particularly after announcing his retirement. However, he made his return to Super Rugby at the beginning of the year with the Bulls, and has finished the year as a Rugby Championship and World Cup winner.
Even in his final game, the 15-cap Springbok showed all the characteristics that have made him so popular, not only by playing the game with a smile on his face, but with his energy and dynamism around the field. This does, however, look to be the end of a brilliant career.
By Josh Raisey