An extraordinary chain of events will almost certainly put Saracens hooker Schalk Brits on the bench in the this weekend’s Super 15 semi-final for the Stormers…as a back row player, writes Paul Morgan.
Brits, who only a few weeks ago masterminded Saracens’ first English league has agreed a ‘special’ loan to the Stormers after a catalogue of injuries.
First Duane Vermeulen was ruled out for the season, Pieter Louw is injured, and then Siya Kolisi was injured in a mugging – on Friday night – when he came back from the Junior World Cup.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee told keo.co.za that Kolisi suffered “wrist and shoulder injuries as well as a concussion”.
Brits played for the Stormers before joining Saracens in 2009, and Coetzee said: “Schalk played occasionally for the Stormers at loose forward, so it shouldn’t be a problem,’ he said. ‘He’s been in outstanding form for Saracens this season, and while he has fed the lineouts and competed in the scrum, his role has effectively been that of a loose forward.
‘I wanted someone who could fill Nick Koster’s role on the bench, somebody who could make an impact and Schalk obviously fits the bill.’
Will this game or perhaps games allow Brits to get back into Springboks’ World Cup selection? ‘It’s a high-profile game and I’m sure a good performance will force [De Villiers] to have a look,’ said Coetzee. ‘He has got that X-factor.’