Schalk Brits can’t be happier than he is today that he never accepted an enticing offer from former Springbok coach Jake White to go play rugby abroad.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that the livewire Stormers hooker turned down the offer, which included a flight on an airline of his choice, and is now on the brink of playing for South Africa.
Brits is one of the substitutes in the Springbok team to play Italy at Newlands on Saturday and will probably be given an opportunity to make his international debut.
It’s fantastic!” Brits exclaimed on Thursday. “After five years the time has arrived at last.
“I had a number of offers to go play abroad but fortunately I stayed to try to play for the Boks. I can’t wait. I hope I’ll get a chance on Saturday.”
He always believed he would one day play for South Africa, even though he was not one of White’s favourites.
“I always believed the time would come, if not under Jake’s coaching then under someone else’s. I believed in myself.
“Peter the Villiers (the new Springbok coach) has said he’ll select the team on form.”
Brits was captain of the Emerging Springboks team that, with De Villiers as coach, won the Nations Cup in Romania last year.
Brits says he is not nervous about a possible Test debut. “But I won’t underestimate the Italians. We played their B team in the Nations Cup tournament last year and if was a physical encounter.
“With Nick Mallett as their coach, the Italians will get stuck in.”
Brits, who is proud of his ball skills, can run like a backline player.
When he was asked on Thursday whether he might employ former Wallaby wing David Campese’s goose step, he replied, “Maybe about five or ten. I’ll enjoy the Test anyway. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
Odwa Ndungane will make his Test debut on the right wing on Saturday, replacing Tonderai Chavhanga.
Ndungane will fill the position his twin brother Akona once held.
“Akona gives me a lot of support and he is looking forward to seeing me play in my first Test,” the newcomer said.
“My brother deserved his place when he was chosen. It will be fantastic if we could play in the same team one day. We both seize out opportunities and share a passion for the game.”
His selection means that 32 sets of brothers have been chosen for the Springboks.Tweet