Shane Jennings and Leo Cullen double up on Schalk Brits in 2011. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
old foe

Hooked up: Springboks call up Schalk Brits for November Test against Ireland

The injured Bryan Habana is out but there are spots for Ruan Pienaar, CJ van der Linde and Jean de Villiers.

THE OUTSTANDING FORM of Saracens hooker Schalk Brits has led to his reinstatement in the South African side for the November internationals.

Brits, who has been with Aviva Premiership side Sarries since 2009, is one of a handful of familiar faces in the 31-man Springbok squad that coach Heyneke Meyer named today.

There are five uncapped players in the squad but no place for the injured Bryan Habana.

The squad, captained by former Munster centre Jean de Villiers, also includes Ruan Pienaar of Ulster and former Leinster forward CJ van der Linde.

It also features Adriaan Strauss, the first cousin of Richardt Strauss who was called up for the Irish squad last Wednesday. Meyer said:

Our aim is to end the season on a positive note. We set ourselves high standards and we want to improve with every Test, but we have a team that is still gaining valuable experience as we strive to constantly be amongst the top sides in the world.

We know we’re not there yet, but we’ve laid a foundation in the first nine Tests this year and we will build on that.”

Brits, 31, made his debut for the ‘Boks in 2008 against Italy and featured twice more that same year. He fell out of favour thereafter with then-coach Peter de Villiers.

Meyer overlooked his ball-carrying, and try-scoring, talents in his first year in charge but must feel the front row forward would be perfectly suited for the challenges of winter rugby in the northern hemisphere.

South Africa are scheduled to play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on 10 November followed by Tests against Scotland then England.

Backs: Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (capt), Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Raymond Rhule, Morne Steyn, Jaco Taute, Jano Vermaak.

Forwards: Willem Alberts, Arno Botha, Schalk Brits, Pat Cilliers, Marcell Coetzee, Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger, CJ van der Linde, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe, Tendai Mtawarira, Jannie du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Gurthro Steenkamp, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen.

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