Brits to play for Barbarians on road back from retirement towards Rugby World Cup

Schalk Brits (left) returned to the Test arena when the Springboks hosted England at Newlands in Cape Town. David Rogers/Getty Images

Schalk Brits will play for the Barbarians 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.

Brits announced his retirement after clinching a fourth Premiership Rugby crown with Saracens, to go with two European Champions Cup victories, but he returned to the game inside a month to win an 11th Test cap for South Africa during the Springboks' series against England.

He then acted as a mentor for Malcolm Marx and the Springboks' hookers during the Rugby Championship, and he is looking to line up provincial rugby action in South Africa as he plots a path to the World Cup.

He will, meanwhile, play for the Barbarians in the Killik Cup match against Argentina, with the invitation side to be overseen by Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus. Fellow Springboks Handre Pollard and Eben Etzebeth have also confirmed their availability for the Barbarians.

"I missed rugby so much I've changed my mind," Brits said of his short-lived retirement.

"I got a call from Rassie with reference to keep being involved until the next World Cup. After the June Tests I still want to keep on playing and I've postponed work and my studies until after then.

"A friend said to me recently, 'what's the difference between being 37 and 38?'

"It's a fantastic opportunity and an honour whenever you play for the Springboks so I'll be trying to stay in contention.

"I've been staying on top of things and I'm in better nick that when I was playing. You get the chance to rehabilitate properly and I'm feeling fantastic and can't wait to play again. I enjoyed playing against England at Newlands, but we lost that Test so I hope the next time will bring a better result."

Brits first played for the Barbarians in 2007, when they defeated newly crowned Rugby World Cup winners South Africa at Twickenham. He has also featured in the black-and-white hoops against England, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions.

"Being part of the Barbarians was one of the best rugby experiences I've ever had," Brits said.

"In terms of pure entertainment and meeting guys you normally bash week-in week-out it's outstanding," Brits said.

"My first experience was in 2007 against South Africa after they'd just won the World Cup, and we smashed them. In all it was a great week. You have to give your best at the weekend when it comes to the crunch and earn the respect of your teammates.

"I got to play with the likes of Jerry Collins, Ma'a Nonu and Jason Robinson -- legends from the past, legends of the present, and then there are those who go on to be legends in the future. It's a unique bond.

"Everything's so professional now but it's more relaxed with the Barbarians and amazing what sort of performances you can create in just a couple of days. Now we get to do it again, making new friends and making people proud."