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Everything you need to know about the Springbok great : PlanetRugby

Prolific personified, Springbok Bryan Habana is an all-time great of the game in which he still holds the record for the most tries scored in tier-one rugby.

Habana’s career spanned 13 years and saw the speedster throw his name in lights across both hemispheres through his remarkable try-scoring ability and turn of pace.

The winger was a key star in every team he played for and developed into a serial winner over the course of his career, lifting every possible trophy he could for club and country.

Player background

The South African was born and grew up in Johannesburg where he attended King Edward VII at secondary level before Rand Afrikaans University (University of Johannesburg) at tertiary level.

His focus would firmly be on rugby from a young age as he represented the Junior Springboks in 2004 after shining for the Golden Lions.

Club career

Habana’s club career took him far and wide but it all started at home with the Golden Lions in 2003 where he first caught the eye in the South African rugby scene. He was not there for long until it was clear he would outgrow the Johannesburg franchise and the Blue Bulls came calling in 2005.

The star transcended his game in Pretoria and reached some impressive heights. This is where the trophy-laden side of his career started as he won Super Rugby titles in 2007 and 2009 which he paired with a Currie Cup.

He would trade Pretoria for Cape Town, making a high-profile switch that saw him reach a Super Rugby final at the first time of asking, although the Stormers would come up short on that occasion.

Despite falling short, Habana would claim the Currie Cup with Western Province in 2012 before announcing his departure a year later to join a star-studded squad in Toulon.

Habana would play alongside Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Bakkies Botha and others in one of rugby’s most valuable squads in history. With all that talent came silverware as in five seasons Toulon would claim back-to-back Champions Cups in 2014 and 2015 with a Top 14 title to pair in the first of those two glittering years.

International career

The Springbok’s club career is certainly impressive but his Test career is even better. Habana scored with his first touch in international rugby back in 2004, issuing foresight of what was to come.

His talent was obvious as in the same year he had already represented the Junior Springboks and South African Sevens. Things would only trend up with 2005 a watershed year.

Habana scored tries throughout 2005, notching up a ridiculous 12 Test tries in a calendar year, underlining his prolific nature. His performances would earn him a nomination for the IRB Player of the Year award which he did not win but the star was named SA Rugby Player of the Year – the first of three occasions he would receive the award.

The following year was a quiet one for the Springboks and Habana but it was all building up to the 2007 Rugby World Cup where he would throw his name as one of the greats in the game.

The Springbok superstar was in exceptional form throughout the tournament and equalled Jonah Lomu’s record of eight tries in a single World Cup tournament – a record still shared today with All Black Julian Savea having matched it as well.

Habana’s try-scoring exploits would power South Africa to their second World Cup and earn him both IRB Player of the Year and SA Rugby Player of the Year.

There was still a lot to come for the wing, who played a key role in the Springboks’ 2009 British & Irish Lions Series, the same year they won the Tri-Nations.

The Johannesburg-born star continued to perform at a high level in the following years and, in particular, in 2012 where he secured his third SA Rugby Player of the Year accolade.

In 2015 as his Test career was winding down, the Springbok put his name next to Lomu’s for the last time as he equalled the great All Black’s record try tally in World Cups with 15.

Habana ended his career with 67 Test tries, a record for tier-one rugby and a total of 124 caps – the second-highest in South African history.

Personal life

Whilst the former Springbok is still involved in the rugby space through his partnership with DHL and some broadcasters he is also involved in the corporate space having founded several businesses including Paymenow and Retroactive agency. He is also a key member of the MatchKit corporate structure.

Net worth

The 39-year-old’s net worth is estimated at $5 million and is likely to grow given his involvement in the corporate world.

READ MORE: Joost van der Westhuizen: Everything you need to know about the Springboks legend

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