Bryan Habana is adamant on finishing off his time with the Stormers on a high, even if it comes at the expense of his former team, the Bulls.
Habana will start on the left wing in the arguably the country’s biggest rivalry, before heading off to France to join Toulon in the French Top 14.
“The game against the Bulls – as big a derby as it is – it’s no bigger than a Stormers game against the Sharks, the Cheetahs or the Kings,” said Habana. “Of course my history at the Bulls spice things up a bit, but there is no bad blood in terms of how I left Pretoria.”
The 30-year old Springbok speedster explained the public perception to his move in 2009, but elaborated to say that it’s the nature of the sporting world.
“I know a lot of people were angry with me when I left the Bulls in 2009 because of the whole north/south thing but unfortunately rugby is a profession and I felt at that specific moment in my career that I needed something different and Western Province opened up a door for me that over the last four years have been something I really enjoyed,” said Habana.
“What people sometimes forget is that I was a Lions player before I moved to the Bulls. I went to Pretoria as a 21-year-old in 2004 and people said it was the worst decision of my life and that I will never see the ball,” recalled the winger. “But I had five unbelievable years in Pretoria and I have no ill feelings towards the Bulls.”
While it is his last game, Habana wants to end on a good note and leave Loftus with a smile of his face.
“I want to contribute to the success of the Stormers and unfortunately that might happen at the expense of the Bulls. I have been booed at Loftus on a couple of occasions, but I have won two out of three games in a Stormers jersey up there.
“I have been privileged and lucky to have become a part of this Stormers team in exactly the same way I did in five great years at the Bulls. But my first priority is with the Stormers,” concluded Habana.