Schalk Brits is on the brink of return to Super Rugby with the Stormers next year as he bids to make the Springboks team for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The 37-year-old called time on his career in May, after clinching a fourth Premiership Rugby crown with Saracens, to go with two European Champions Cup victories, but he was quickly persuaded back by new Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus as Malcolm Marx suffered injury and missed the test series against England.
Brits has remained on the fringe of Bok selection since, third in the pecking order behind fit again Marx and Bongi Mbonambi, who is also based with the Cape Town franchise.
The hooker will play against Argentina at Twickenham in December, six months after retiring from professional rugby, as he continues to plot a path to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The hooker tells KweséESPN in the south of France that he still has the passion to represent his country despite playing the last of his 79 Tests at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
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Brits has also received an offer to play for the Bulls next season, but he is believed to be on the verge of doing a deal with the Stormers, for whom he played from 2006 to 2009 and again in 2011.
Stormers insiders say he is seen as a strong impact player for the next campaign, coming off the bench to replace Mbonambi in matches in next year’s southern hemisphere competition.
Brits was due to join Johan Rupert’s Remgro organisation after the end of his rugby career but those plans have been put out as the World cup looms.
Billionaire businessman Rupert had been an investor in the Saracens organisation.
Brits has already accepted an invitation to play for the Barbarians in their match against Argentina at Twickenham on December 1.
Erasmus will be coaching the select side.