Friday, 5 September 2014

Habana here we go: let's acnowledge one of South Africa's best backline rugby players on the eve of his 100th test match

Source: Rugby365

Bryan Gary Habana is an institution in the Springbok team and in Perth on Saturday he will become the fourth player to feature in 100 Tests for South Africa.

He described the past 11 years, since his debut against England at Twickenham in 2004, as "an incredible journey: and something he was "very privileged" to be part of.

"The journey has been one I enjoyed each step of the way, the good and bad times," he said, adding that he believes he has another couple of years left in him.

"It's obviously very special for me to reach this milestone, but this weekend isn't about me," the Bok wing said, adding: "It's about the team and what we want to achieve.

"I've been blessed with many highlights during my career and I'm very thankful for that, as well as the magnificent support I've received from my family, friends, teammates and coaches through the years.

BIO: Bryan Gary Habana
Date of birth: 12 June 1983
Place of birth: Benoni
School: King Edward VII School (KES)
Springbok no: 766
Debut Test province: Lions
Physical: 1.79m, 90kg
Current age: 31

Test summary: Tests: 99 Tries: 56
First Test: 20 November 2004 (age 21) - replacement against England at Twickenham, London
Last Test: 23 August 2014 (age 31) - left wing against Argentina at Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta

He attended Meredale Primary and King Edward VII School before enrolling at the University of Johannesburg (then still called the Rand Afrikaans University) in B.Sc (Information Technology).

He made his provincial debut for the Golden Lions in 2003, his Test debut a year later and played the first of his 118 Vodacom Super Rugby matches in 2005.

To date, Habana has amassed 99 Tests and scored 56 tries, a South African record. He scored his first Test try with his first touch of the ball in an international, against then Rugby World Cup champions England at Twickenham.

On 22 September 2011 he scored his 39th Test try, against Namibia, to surpass Joost van der Westhuizen as the most-prolific try scorer in Springbok history. His 50th Test try was scored against Samoa on 22 June 2013.

All but one of Habana's Test appearances have been on the wing - he played once at outside centre, against Ireland in 2006.

Honours and accolades:
* 2004: Springbok Sevens, SA Under-21, SA Young Player of the Year
* 2005: SA Rugby Player of the Year, Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year, Try of the Year (Vodacom Bulls v Blues in Pretoria)
* 2007: IRB Player of the Year, SA Rugby Player of the Year, scored eight tries at RWC to equal the record set by Jonah Lomu in 1995, Try of the Year (Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks in Durban, Vodacom Super Rugby final)
* 2012: SA Rugby Player of the Year, IRPA Try of the Year (against New Zealand in Dunedin)

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