Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says veteran hooker Schalk Brits will be considered for the last two matches of the Test series against England despite announcing his retirement from the game a couple of weeks ago.
The 37-year-old Brits played his final game for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership final on 26 May, but arrived at the Bok hotel on Tuesday and was soon kitted out in a green-and-gold tracksuit and expected to train with the team later in the day.
The Boks started the campaign with four hookers in the squad, but France-based Bismarck du Plessis was withdrawn a couple of days before the Ellis Park Test because of injury.
Bongi Mbonambi started at Ellis Park and put in a superb shift after going into the Test with less than 60 minutes of game time in Super Rugby after a burst appendix at the beginning of the year. The Sharks' Akker van der Merwe came off the bench in Johannesburg, while the experienced Chilliboy Ralepelle, who started in the Test against against Wales, is also still in the squad.
"We will consider him for the match-day 23 for the next two matches in Bloemfontein and Cape Town. The whole squad knows where we stand with him," Erasmus said on Tuesday at the team's hotel.
"We are going to try a few things and let players learn from one another and start thinking differently. With him being on the field -- it's not a given yet -- he will add some value.
"He is definitely not here as a coach."
Erasmus says Brits' experience will be invaluable to the team after witnessing the influence players such as Duane Vermeulen and Willie le Roux had on the Boks during the first Test at Ellis Park.
Brits, who has won 10 caps for the Boks, will also be able to give the Boks a lot of insight into England after spending nine years at Saracens and winning numerous titles. "We all know we wanted to get Bismarck in, because I feel the more guys who have been there and done that need rub shoulders with the inexperienced players," Erasmus said.
"The guys who have played in the different competitions and in different countries are more relevant. We saw what Willie, Duane and Faf [de Klerk] brought to the party against England.
"I know Schalk really well and I know what he will bring to us. We will assess where he is. Obviously he played his last game two weeks ago, so he should be fit.
"He also knows a lot about English rugby, the players and the styles, scrum and lineout. But he is also a great individual player, two weeks ago he won the Premiership."