Tightheads & Loose Balls
“I’m still on the bench,” said Schalk Brits while laughing heartily when Tightheads asked what’s different this time at the Boks. He made his debut in 2008 and has played in only 10 tests, starting in just one. Measure that against the Beast Mtawarira, who made his debut just a week before Brits, reaching 100 tests last weekend. Brits was quick to remind that he still looks exactly the same as he did on his debut.
Brits didn’t believe it when the Bok door opened again. “I got a text message from Rassie (Erasmus) asking me to join. It’s weird because I didn’t believe it. Rassie sent three or four messages and I told Colinda (his wife) this is definitely not Rassie. She said ‘are you sure?’ I said he’s talking a lot about the future and being involved with the Boks. I know Vincent Koch has been speaking a lot to Rassie and after a couple of text messages and a contact info from Vincent the numbers matched. I was absolutely stunned to be involved.”
Playing for the Boks is coming at a price for Brits. “My wife is in Bermuda and I was supposed to be at home doing the school run (three boys aged six, four and three),” said Brits. “At the moment I’m losing money being with the Boks. It’s 10 pounds an hour for a nanny but it is fantastic to be involved.”
Tightheads had a good chuckle while catching up with venerable commentator Hugh Bladen this week. Bladen lost his great pal Syd Nomis to a heart attack last weekend and was regaling Tightheads with tales from their past. Bladen recalled a brutal club match in Krugersdorp. “They had Fanie Kuhn, Toy Dannhauser, Ouboet Herbst, Spanner Martins and Reguitarm van Tonder." Bladen didn’t explain how “Reguitarm” got his nickname but we can only assume it was for his impeccable lineout feeds.
Nomis, who passed away on Youth Day, has left a massive void. Apart from being a wonderful Springbok wing he was also instrumental in the welfare of former players through the Transvaal Old Boys Trust. Nomis will be missed.