Schalk Brits met up with England’s Saracens contingent in Johannesburg on Sunday but didn’t tell them about his call-up to the Springboks squad.
Ten of Brits’ former Saracens teammates – Owen Farrell, Alex Lozowski, Nathan Earle, Ben Spencer, Ben Earl, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, and Jamie George – are in England’s touring party for the Test series against the Springboks.
Brits recently retired but was recalled to the Springbok squad by coach Rassie Erasmus. The 37-year-old, who was at Ellis Park as a spectator for the first Test, had a coffee date with his ex-Sarries teammates at England’s hotel on Sunday morning but decided to withhold his news from them until it was officially announced.
Brits says his friends in the England camp initially thought he was playing a joke on them when it recall was confirmed.
‘When it was announced, I got a lot of messages and a lot of teasing went on,’ he said. ‘Myself and Jamie George have been texting each other saying how weird it would be if we play against each other. He knows all my strengths and weaknesses and vice-versa.
‘The probability is not very likely this week but maybe by next weekend, we’ll see. I still need to understand these structures they play to here. They’re a bit different to Saracens,’ he explained.
According to The Times, Brits is sitting on a place to study for an MBA at Cambridge University but is thinking about applying to Oxford too and is also due to start work for Reinet Investments in August; this could clash with his schedule if he is to prolong his playing.
‘We’ll see how things evolve. There are a lot of things that have to fall into place for me to consider playing more rugby. It would be quite funny if I was to play for the Springboks and the varsity at the same time. I’ve always said “just live life”,’ Brits said. ‘Plans do change; playing for your country is one of the highest honours that can be bestowed on you.
‘So there’s a lot of thinking to be done, but for the next two weeks I’ll just focus on the rugby and see where that leads.’
The Springboks lead the three-Test series 1-0 after clinching a 42-39 win over England on Saturday.
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