Bulls hooker Schalk Brits gets four-week ban for punch-up

Brits and his Sharks counterpart Akker van der Merwe traded punches in a maul and were then sent off in the second half of the Bulls’ victory away in Durban on Saturday.

FILE: Schalk Brits (left) during training at the Cape Town Stadium. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Veteran Bulls hooker Schalk Brits has been handed a month-long ban from Super Rugby for his part in a punch-up last Saturday that has already seen his Sharks counterpart Akker van der Merwe suspended for three weeks.

Both traded punches in a maul and were then sent off in the second half of the Bulls’ 19-16 victory away in Durban on Saturday.

They both pleaded guilty to the offence, but while Van der Merwe had the customary six-week sanction cut in half, the 37-year-old Brits must serve an extra week because he has two previous suspensions for fighting, Sanzaar said on Tuesday.

Brits and Van der Merwe are likely rivals for a spot in the South Africa squad for the World Cup in Japan later in the year, with Malcolm Marx and Bongi Mbonambi ahead of them in the pecking order.