Monday Jun 11, 2018

Springboks add veteran Schalk Brits to squad after thriller with England

Springboks add veteran Schalk Brits to squad after thriller with England
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The Springboks have recalled recently retired Saracens hooker Schalk Brits following their 42-39 win over England on Saturday. The visitors squandered a 20-point lead as the Boks turned things around to go 1-0 in the three-Test series. 

Wingers S’Busiso Nkosi and Aphiwe Dyantyi crossed for tries on debut while returning stars Willie le Roux and Faf De Klerk made a massive impact, giving the Springboks the much needed impetus to spark a comeback. 

The hosts are now hoping that dynamic hooker Brits, who just turned 37-years-old and called time on his career with the Aviva Premiership final victory, can provide another spark but also help to mentor their young stars. 

Rassie Erasmus believes that Brits can play a similar role to other senior players currently. 

“We are busy with building experience, continuity and capacity towards the Rugby World Cup, so we want our young players rubbing shoulders with experienced players such as Duane Vermeulen and Willie le Roux,” explained Erasmus.
 
“I want Schalk to perform a similar role, because he has extensive inside knowledge and plenty of experience from playing for Saracens in the English and European conditions. It’s a great way for our younger guys to learn the trade of international rugby from these guys.”

Brits, capped just ten times by South Africa during an era of domination by hookers John Smit and Bismarck Du Plessis, is already in camp with the Springboks in Bloemfontein. He attended the match at Ellis Park as a fan on Saturday. 

Erasmus has stated that Brits’s role is not only that of a leader, but he will most definitely be considered for the match day 23 for the next two Tests. 

The Springboks will be looking to tighten up the defensive lapses that saw them trail 24-3 in the first half, but will be buoyed by the performances of their youngsters and returning stars, on the occasion of Siya Kolisi’s first Test in charge as captain.

The team to face England in Bloemfontein in the second Test will be named on Thursday.

9 Comments

  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    "every other website on the internet is full of dickheads" Love it. I'm a proud Bok fan, so I'd lean towards saying 1, but you';d reckon a 21 point lead at this level should be defended. Ellis Park though is notorious for late scores in the first half (lost count of how often NZ have burned us at this point in the game), and that's what put the match back in the balance. Had England held on to a lead going in at half-time, might well have ended differently. Key feature of this game was how completely each side punished the other's mistakes, but for me the enduring concern with England is how vulnerable they are at the breakdown. They don't get many turnovers, and opponents can almost target them at will. I still rate England as a pretty good team overall, but I think breakdown weakness is the source of most of their other problems. For example, the defence will eventually go to shit if your opponents can recycle the ball quickly and with minimal fuss. Still, hoping for another good game tomorrow. I don't think there's much between these teams.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    I am amazed that England's defense could not hold the lead, which was very comfortable at that point in the match. So, was it a total let down, the lack of discipline, bad tackling? All the above? South Africa did exploit, so give them credit. The ball got out wide. The passing was great, and the play very creative on their part. They got the momentum and took over the match. England's comeback too little and too late.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Wow! That's a lot of points scored, and tries scored. Very entertaining match. And apparently no foul play to speak of as it's not in the highlight reel. Superb passing, then. I still don't like dummy runners running out in front of defenders, but whatever works, right? Still, the best tries seemed to be the ones in which the ball got out wide to the wing, with crisp passing, and some great acceleration from those gifted runners. And the grubber kick: sure, it could have been touched down for the 22 drop, but the England player overplayed the ball, and what a result! No one can trust the bounce of a rugby ball.

    Reply
  •  morgthom
    morgthom

    Yo Jimmy23, 1. 100%

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    England's discipline, or lack of always amazes me, aspects of it are one of the easiest things to get right. Thinking about 6N teams, Scotland had a similar run where they really did have a 15 man team of decent ability players, but somehow used to spend half of the game knocking the ball on, or playing with 14 men and a double digit penalty count..and all pointless penalties too. It seems like Jones has hit a brick wall with England..

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    Firstly, congratulations to South Africa. Obviously disappointed with the result but I think any rugby fan can be happy that they won on such an historic occasion. Now I didn't see the full game (only the highlights), so I've decided to come here for a level-headed assessment from fellow Rugbydumpers as every other website on the internet is full of dickheads. As an England fan, should I be thinking; 1. We narrowly lost to a fired up Sprinkbok team at a venue which is notoriously tough for away teams and we still have a realistic chance of winning the series? Or, 2. That I should be immensely frustrated that we threw away a 21 point lead, our defence has gone to shit (perhaps it's a good thing Gustard is leaving), our issues with discipline continue to persist and we were lucky to get the scoreline as close as it was?

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    Also, interesting little piece of trivia is that this game was played exactly 34 years, to the day, after the Springboks beat England at Ellis Park by 35 to 9 back on 9 June 1984. That was my first ever live test match (I was eleven), and it was also the game in which the legendary Danie Gerber scored a brilliant hat-trick. You can see those three tries in this compilation (the Ellis Park hat-trick starts at 1:00): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE1Dl4gZQHk

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    What a game! I mean, apart from the obvious occasion of Kolisi being the first black Bok captain, of Rassie taking charge of his first test series, of debuts for three exciting youngsters, this game had it all. Many were predicting beforehand that England would kick a lot of ball onto the new wings, but they had no such plans, choosing instead to stretch defenses, tempt the marking wings to come in too narrow and then skip the ball out to the speedsters Brown, May and Daly. Which worked a charm. And the Bok response to this early onslaught was to do exactly the same. The old Boks would have retreated into the kicking laager, and then bashed it up through the forwards. But this new backline (sparked by Willie le Roux) chose to bring the dangerous runners, Dyanti and Nkosi, into the game as often as they could. This was classic Ellis Park firm pitch high altitude rugby, much like the Lions hve started playing again, and the crowd got more than their money's worth. And let's not forget how close the English came to swinging the game back in their favour at the end. I reckon the remaining two tests are going to be brutal. Oh, and welcome back Schalk Brits - one of my all-time favourite players. Problem is though, who does he replace? Bongi Mbonambi had a great hour on the pitch, and Akker "The Angry Warthog" van der Merwe is just the kind of guy you want to bring on with 15 or 20 to go. Tricky choice, but not a bad dilemma to have.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Why not?? He's basically an extra back built like a forward...playing in the forwards..

    Reply

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Springboks add veteran Schalk Brits to squad after thriller with England | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos