Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Worker Ant' Schalk Is Adamant Sarries' Spirit Will See off Tigers

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Worker Ant' Schalk Is Adamant Sarries' Spirit Will See off Tigers

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones Rugby Correspondent

SCHALK BRITS is the most uniquely talented hooker in world rugby but he insists on being described as one of Saracens "worker ants". The South Africa international is desperate to drive the club towards a first trophy for 13 years when they tackle reigning champions Leicester in Saturday's Aviva Premiership Play-off final at Twickenham.

The club's last silverware was the Tetley's Bitter Cup in 1998 when they defeated Wasps 48-18. That triumph should have been the first of many big days for the club but, despite splashing out on big names such as Philippe Sella, Michael Lynagh, Thomas Castaignede, Tim Horan, Justin Marshall and Richard Hill, they have consistently underachieved.

Brits, 30, arrived at Vicarage Road in 2009 as a Springbok whose play was deemed too loose for the national team. He loves to roam the open spaces, side-stepping and sprinting like a back but the perception in South Africa is that anyone wearing No2 cannot be a good srummager, line-out thrower and close-quarter forward if they are finishing off 80-metre tries with headline-grabbing dives under the opposition posts.

While he would like to be regarded as just another member of the team, Brits has a skills set that screams individual brilliance and Sarries will need something special from him to end Leicester's domination of these finals. Brits, however, just sticks to his mantra.

"I really enjoy being part of this squad which has so many good young players coming through and a great work ethic.

"These guys know they are part of a big group of worker ants who are controlled by the likes of scrum-halves Neil de Kock and Richard Wigglesworth and we play for each other. We are a squad of boys committed to proving a point in this final and all of our combined energy is being focused on this final match of the season.

"I am going out at Twickenham all guns blazing for the final against Leicester, who have a really good defence, which means it will be an extremely tough battle.

"It will be huge and I am going to need a couple of weeks off to recover. It will be that demanding."

Revenge will be the major motivation for Sarries who saw victory snatched away from their grasp by Leicester centre Dan Hipkiss in the dying seconds last year. …

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