Rugby World Cup: South African Brits seeks ‘home’ help
15:00 19 September 2015
PA/Press Association Images
Saracens hooker used to English conditions
After spending the last six seasons turning out for Saracens, South Africa hooker Schalk Brits believes his knowledge of English conditions will boost the Springboks’ chances of success.
Brits joined Sarries in 2009, having played for both the Cats and the Stormers in his native country and made his South Africa debut a year earlier.
And during his time in England, the hooker has had to scrum down on pitches that have at time resembled a mud bath.
But it is these experiences during the winter months Brits believes could give South Africa the edge over their Southern Hemisphere rivals.
With the weather set to get worse as the World Cup continues through the autumn, 34-year-old Brits believes teams will have to adjust to a certain style of play.
Brits is confident he knows what brand that is, and says he will also point his team-mates in the direction of the occassional drinking hole.
“I know the conditions quite well – and the northern hemisphere players,” he told South Africa’s eNCA.
“There is a different way of playing in the northern hemisphere compared to the southern hemisphere.
“On a social point of view I can show the boys around for a couple of beers!”
Brits, agonisingly, missed out on selection for the previous tournament in New Zealand four years ago.
The Sarries star was 30 at the time and expected it would have been his last chance to represent South Africa on the biggest stage.
And Brits admits he will use the anger from missing out on selection for the last World Cup as motivation in England, adding: “Since an early age I have been disappointed quite a lot about not playing for the Springboks.
“So my outlook has been to enjoy the game. So when 2011 came and went I thought that it would be my last chance, to be honest.
“Now I am over the moon. I can’t wait to be part of the World Cup and have my input into a fantastic team like the Springboks.”
Despite his age, Brits remains a relative novice on the world stage with only eight caps to his name heading into the tournament.
And like any newcomer, the Saracens forward is full of anticipation ahead of his first World Cup, adding: “For me, the excitement of going to the World Cup is amazing.
“We don’t just want to go to the World Cup, we want to have a massive impact and win the World Cup.”