Renowned British Rugby writer Stephen Jones has labelled Schalk Brits the most amazing he has ever seen play. Brits, capped 10 times for the Springboks, has spent the past decade playing for Saracens. He will retire after the English Premiership final.
Brits, a Paul Roos Gimnasium old boy, and former Lions, Western Province and Stormers hooker, is 37 years-old.
Jones, in the London Sunday Times, paid tribute to Brits.
‘He is the most amazing rugby player I have seen. No doubt, no qualification, and I’ve seen a few. If Saturday’s Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham is to be his last game for Saracens, the last on-field action of a nine-year reciprocated love affair with the club and its followers, then thank goodness he has the biggest stage for it.
‘If you want me to justify myself then you haven’t seen much of him. How many players have you seen who can cut the angles so silkily, who puts players through gaps with a pass or surges through himself on to passes, stands back to take high kicks and hardly ever fails to run them back with interest? Or who often stands in the openside flank position to lead the defensive line at rare pace, has a vast range of skills, understands the head-up game better than most fly-halves — and then goes down and hooks in the scrum? This is maestro stuff. It’s one man making history,’ wrote Jones.
Brits intends taking a Masters Degree in Business at Oxford University and will remain in the United Kingdom post his retirement from rugby.
Jones, in the interview, put the following questions to Brits.
SCHALK BRITS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Best thing about Britain?
The weather, the people and the golf courses
In London I greet people I don’t know on the underground and they think I am the weirdest bloke on the planet
Nelson Mandela. How could anyone have that sort of compassion after so long in prison?
In an early game I came up against Carl Hayman and Anton Oliver and in the first scrum I passed out because of the pressure. Marius Hurter turned to me and said: ‘Don’t worry, it can only get better’
No. I want weekends off with my family
I have always tried to maintain the sense of fun and love for the game. We are professionals but the joy remains
Best round of golf?
Dunhill Links Championship, Old Course, St Andrews, with Louis Oosthuizen. I played out of my skin
I could regret not winning more than 10 caps for South Africa, but if I had I might not have had this wonderful Saracens experience