World Cup-winning Springbok hooker Schalk Brits went to work on Monday despite running a 39°C fever, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.
The 38-year-old started his new job at Remgro, an investment holding company in Stellenbosch of which Johann Rupert is chairman.
When RugbyRocks.com phoned Brits on Monday night, he sounded terrible.
‘Are you sick?’ was the obvious first question.
‘Yes, I’ve got a bad cold. I had to go to work, though, because if I had missed my first day I would have got so much grief from everyone!’ he said in between coughs.
‘Luckily Dr Brendan Venter [the former Springbok centre and assistant coach] helped me out with some medicine this morning and I got a blood test. My temperature was 39°C! Luckily, though it isn’t flu, just a bad cold.
‘I can’t stay at home tomorrow either, though. If I do, guys will say I can’t handle the pressure and had to take sick leave after my first day.’
While he wasn’t feeling well, Brits still had a ‘phenomenal’ first day at work.
‘It was a great experience. Luckily Remgro’s dress code is quite relaxed, so I didn’t have to wear a suit like in corporate London. I wore blue chinos with a white shirt and some mooi mooi shoes. It’s still different, though, to have to wear a long-sleeve shirt and long pants when it’s 40°C outside.
‘I was given an unbelievable welcome,’ he added. ‘They took me through my programme with Remgro for the next couple of months, which was quite interesting. They also explained the leave structure, which is not like rugby where you are told when to take time off.
‘Remgro has an amazing culture and I’m excited to be a part of it.’
And with that, Brits was off to bed, hoping to feel better on Tuesday.
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