Bryan Gary Habana is a modern legend of Springbok rugby. He has made the number 11 jersey his personal property and it is almost impossible to imagine a Springbok team without him in the starting team.
His father was very evidently a Manchester United fan as he was named after Bobby Robson and Gary Bailey. He started his rugby career in Johannesburg as a schoolboy playing for King Edward School (KES). His first senior level rugby was as part of the South African 7’s team in 2003. He was quickly drafted into the Golden Lions team in 2004 and made his first appearance for the Springboks later that year.
In 2005, he moved across the Jukskei river to join the Lions bitter rivals the Bulls. With the Bulls, he enjoyed both Currie Cup as well as Super Rugby success. He also became a World Cup winner in 2007 as part of the squad that won the World Cup Tournament in France. In the same year, he also moved from the Bulls to Western Province to fulfill a dream of playing for the Cape Town based team.
At the back end of 2013, Habana moved to the ambitious French Top 14 team Toulon. With them, he won both the 2014 Heineken Cup, as well as the 2014 French Top 14.
It is probably worthwhile to take a step back and look at the achievements of Bryan Habana:
World Cup Winner
Super Rugby Winner
Heineken Cup Winner
Currie Cup Winner
Top 14 Winner
Series Winner vs British and Irish Lions
Tri Nations Winner
SARU Player Of The Year: 2005, 2007 and 2012
International Rugby Board Player Of The Year: 2007
International Rugby Players’ Association’s Try of the Year: 2012
Looking back at this list of achievements, any player would be happy to sit back on their laurels. However, we know that Bryan Habana is not the type of person to sit back and let history talk for itself. He remains a very motivated player, looking to make a valuable contribution every time he takes to the field.
On Saturday 6 September 2014, Bryan will take to the field to represent South Africa in his 100th Test Match. The occasion will be The Rugby Championship game between the Springboks and the Wallabies at South Africa’s “other” home ground in Perth. He owns the South African try scoring record of 56 tries and will be hoping to add another one in this special game, wearing the special commemorative gold boots provided by Adidas.
Bryan has one more World Cup left in him and that will quite possibly be his international swan song. It will be very sad and emotional day when this superstar of the modern game calls it a day.
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