Bryan Habana was born on this day June 12, 1983. A player ever reflected the speed and agility of the Springbok, it was surely South African wing Bryan Habana, who would build a reputation as one of rugby’s all-time great finalists in his 12-year international career.
Havana played a decisive role in the Boks who lifted the Rugby World Cup in 2007, the same season he was named IRB Player of the Year, and two years later he shone when South Africa defeated the British and Irish Lions. Rugby fans can book South Africa A Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website’s exclusively discounted prices.
Inspired to pick up the game with Boks’ victory at the 1995 World Cup, he ended his career in 2016 as one of the best players to wear the famous green and gold jersey. He started from humble beginnings, but his 67 test attempts are second after Japanese Daisuke Ohata 69 on the all-time list.
With the utmost respect to the latter, Havana’s opposition was almost exclusively first-tier nations rather than the Chinese Tapei, Korea, Hong Kong, or the Arabian Gulf.
“I am not going to mention the amount of my contract when I was first called to that Springbok team under Jake White in 2004, but I don’t think there is a school rugby player in South Africa who accepts that deal now,” he added. Havana told Reuters, before revealing how the 2007 World Cup victory brought it to world fame.
I must be in a Gillette battle with Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and Thierry Henry. But I am ashamed to have received the IRB Player of the Year award that season. Yes, I did have an impact, but any of the eight players on that side of Springbok could have had it, too.
“The scoring attempts potentially highlighted me a bit more than someone like Juan Smith, who was phenomenal, to say the least at that World Cup.”
Havana claimed the Super Rugby title twice with the Bulls and was also twice the winner of the Rugby European Cup with the French team Toulon. Their final test came during one of the Boks’ lowest ebb levels while fighting for form in 2016, and they only lost to Italy in Florence.
But that was one of the few disappointments for Habana, who became the first player of color to achieve a century of testing for the Boks, ending his career with 124, second behind former bolt Victor Mat field 127.
“The best moment of my career was having the opportunity to put on the Springbok shirt for the first time and run to my country,” said Habana.
Understand the privilege that was and understand the responsibility that was given to me to do that. Then for it to run out and come on not only to want to do this once, but to do it 10 times, 50 times, and become the first colored player to do it 100 times.
“And using the platform to make a difference not only in the team you are involved with, but we hope to inspire many more players.”
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