Bryan Habana may be considered one of the greatest wingers to ever don the green jersey, but he’s not relying on his reputation to earn him a spot in the Springbok squad ahead of the World Cup.
In a new interview with MyPlayers, Habana explains that his past achievements don’t lend him any credibility to selection – he needs to perform and make an impact if he’s to find himself a ticket to England in September.
“I hope to make a good impact for the Springboks this year. There’s a lot of competition across all positions. So my focus is on making valuable contributions for the team heading into the World Cup,” said Habana.
The 31-year-old speedster knows that he is one of the senior players in the team and would need to help share some experience with the talented newcomers.
“There are great young players in the national squad, which is great for the future of South African rugby. Guys like Cornal Hendricks, Jan Serfontein, Oupa Mohoje and Marcell Coetzee, among many others, are doing really well as they continue their personal growth,” added Habana.
“I hope to pass on my advice, insight and knowledge to them to add to their growth. It’s important for experienced players to give back to the team.”
Despite being one of the most decorated players in world rugby, boasting a World Cup title (2007), a Rugby Championship title (2009), two Super Rugby titles (2007 and 2009 with the Bulls), two Currie Cup titles (2009 with the Bulls and 2012 with Western Province), a French Top 14 and Heineken Cup trophy, Habana is still dedicated to making a name for himself with his French club.
“I’m feeling confident at this stage of the year. I managed to have several days off during the French Top 14 break, and spent some time in Cape Town with friends and family. I just want to build on my form and continue delivering performances of a high standard.
“Toulon have a great squad with world-class players, so I need to work hard to earn my selection in the team. Toulon are in a good position in the French Top 14 and European Cup, and we are aiming to win more silverware this season.
Individually, Habana shares the record for most tries in a World Cup (eight tries n 2007) along with All Blacks great Jonah Lomu, and it’s likely that we’ll see Habana speeding down the wing in this year’s highly-anticipated tournament. Blink, and you’ll miss him.