Tight­heads & Loose Balls

Sunday Times - - Sport | Rugby -

“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.

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