Strange as it may seem considering the hype beforehand over “emotional Springbok swansongs” in the bronze playoff match at Rugby World Cup 2015, only 1 member of the squad at the tournament, captain Jean de Villiers, has officially confirmed his Test retirement.
Several younger Springboks spoke beforehand of their desire to beat Argentina – a task duly achieved – as a fitting send-off for senior players bidding farewell to the green-and-gold cause.
Almost 2 weeks on from the end of the Rugby World Cup, however, it is still only the luckless Jean de Villiers, injured again in just the 2nd Rugby World Cup match against Samoa, who has definitely bowed out after 109 appearances since 2002.
Perhaps influenced by the state of flux surrounding embattled coach Heyneke Meyer, the likes of Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana intriguingly haven’t yet pulled the plug publicly on their illustrious Springbok careers.
The majority of “older” Springboks who took part in their hot-and-cold Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign are now exclusively foreign-based and there have been some pleas back home for only locally-stationed players to be chosen for South Africa henceforth – a tricky matter considering the ever-shrinking strength of the Rand against other currencies, which hardly helps keeps the best players rooted here.
Rugby World Cup Springboks Bryan Habana, Damian de Allende and Lwazi Mvovo are among a host of 15-a-side stars who will be in contention for places in South Africa’s Olympic Sevens squad, the South African Rugby Union announced on Wednesday.
They will be joined by Springbok team mates Juan de Jongh, Warren Whiteley, Cornal Hendricks and Oupa Mohoje at a 3-week training camp from Sunday in Stellenbosch as part of the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) new Sevens strategy in Olympic year, announced Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.
Habana has returned to his French club side Toulon and will join the training camp towards the end of the month. SARU also confirmed that Springboks Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski had already signed contracts to play for the Springbok Sevens team this season.
In addition, provincial 15-a-side stars Cheslin Kolbe, Rayno Benjamin, Warrick Gelant and Jaco Kriel have also been invited to join the camp alongside SARU’s powerful, existing Sevens squad.
South Africa said goodbye to a large swathe of great players in victorious fashion when they defeated Argentina 24 / 13 in the bronze medal final on Friday.
Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez and Bryan Habana (above) will all be over 35 come Japan 2019, while 38-year-old Victor Matfield, who captained them in the bronze medal match at the Olympic stadium, has already announced his retirement for the 2nd time.
All 4 were members of a glorious few years for the Springboks in which they bestrode the world. It began when Jake White’s team won the 2007 World Cup and, under his replacement Peter de Villiers, they won the 2009 Tri-Nations then beat the British & Irish Lions 2 / 1 in a Test series in the same year.
Du Preez, Habana and Matfield were also part of the Blue Bulls team that was coached by Heyneke Meyer and became the 1st South African franchise to win the Super Rugby title, in 2007.
Australia’s Drew Mitchell entered the race for the Rugby World Cup try-scoring record with a brace against Scotland in their 35 / 34 quarterfinal victory at Twickenham on Sunday.
Mitchell dotted down twice to bring his tally in World Cups to 14 – a single try shy of current joint leaders, New Zealand great Jonah Lomu and Springbok Bryan Habana.
Bryan Habana’s hat-trick against the USA in their Rugby World Cup clash in London on Wednesday saw him tie not 1, but 2 try scoring records.
Habana’s feat saw him not only join All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu atop the all-time World Cup try scoring charts – with 15 – but also moved him into a tie with former Wallaby David Campese for 2nd spot in the overall Test try list (64).
Habana now trails Japan’s Daisuke Ohata (69) by 5 tries in the all-time list.
But who did Habana score his very 1st Test try against? And his 50th?
With the entire Springbok squad expected to be fit before the start of the Rugby World Cup, team doctor Craig Roberts says the next challenge is to get the players match-fit.
Roberts gave an update on the injury situation in the Springbok camp with a bout of ‘flu keeping captain Jean de Villiers and Bryan Habana sidelined.
“At this stage everyone will be available for that 1st game and it is our plan to have 31 fit players and up to the coach to select the 23 for that 1st game,” Roberts said in Johannesburg on Monday.
“It’s more illness at this stage than injury, but I am happy with our progress and we are still 2 weeks away from that 1st game and we are getting the guys into full-on training so I am happy.”
Eben Etzebeth had a light calf strain, but the towering lock is expected to be fit for selection for the Springboks’ opening Rugby World Cup match against Japan in Brighton on 19 September.
Long-term injury layoffs Duane Vermeulen, Fourie du Preez and Francois Louw all took part in sessions on Monday.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will announce an interim captain for South Africa on Tuesday.
Even though there’s been no formal confirmation, the fact that a media briefing has been scheduled to name an ‘interim’ captain confirms that current stand-in captain Victor Matfield will not play against New Zealand at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday.
Matfield, who suffered a hamstring injury in the 1st half of last week’s 20 / 24 loss to Australia’s Wallabies in Brisbane, was standing in for the injured captain Jean de Villiers.
And Meyer has made it very clear that De Villiers won’t be considered this week.
So who are the candidates in the current Springbok squad?
The front-runners, surely, are Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Ruan Pienaar, Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss – with Bryan Habana, Patrick Lambie and Warren Whiteley at long-odds.
If you really want to stir the pot, why not throw Flip van der Merwe’s name in there – seeing as he is now ‘available’ again.
World Cup-winning Springbok Bryan Habana is enjoying his stay in Toulon so much, he might extend it.
The 31-year-old, Player of the Year after equalling the record set for most tries in a World Cup, said discussions are underway to extend his contract the French and European champions when it expires in 2016.
His arrival in the south of France was marked by a groin injury that sidelined him for most of his first season.
Bernie Habana, the father of Springbok wing Bryan, is reported to be causing his landlord problems by not paying his rent.
According to the Times Live website, Habana snr has not paid his rent for months and is now refusing to leave the R2.4m house he is occupying in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, according to his landlord, Thorsten Weiss.
Weiss is taking Habana to the Gauteng Rental Housing Tribunal this week to get an eviction order.
Mourad Boudjellal is planning to take the IRB to court over payments to players on international duty in a groundbreaking move.
The outspoken Toulon president had already made his feelings clear erlier this season when he complained about having to pay the likes of Bryan Habana, Juán Martín Fernández-Lobbe and Bakkies Botha while they were away at the Rugby Championship.
And he has now revealed that he has the support of Premiership bosses in England ahead of a legal battle with the game’s governing body, who he has accused of an ‘abuse of power’.
“We’re in the process of speaking to our lawyers in Paris to see if we go to commercial or administrative court,” he told Var Matin.
“The IRB rules have no provisions for unions to pay the clubs for their internationals. Yet the IRB is made up of the unions.
Liam Napier explains the mystery of why South African rugby bosses are keeping the All Blacks away from the nation’s second-biggest city.
It’s one of the world’s most popular destinations. In 2008, 25,000 readers of South Africa’s Daily and Sunday Telegraph readers voted it the world’s best city.
But while the All Blacks travel to South Africa at least once every year, 2008 was the last time Cape Town hosted the All Blacks.
The formidable presence of No 8 Duane Vermeulen could be missing from the Springbok arsenal when they play their final Rugby Championship match of the year against the All Blacks at Ellis Park next Saturday.
Vermeulen left the field late in the second half with a rib injury, and with Schalk Burger having already come onto the field for Teboho Mohoje, that meant that a lock, Victor Matfield, had to take up position on the side of the scrum.
Currently away with the Springboks, Bryan Habana hasn’t been distracted by the outlandish statements of Mourad Boudjellal at Toulon.
Habana will be in line for his 102nd cap against the Wallabies in Cape Town next weekend, but the Toulon owner earlier this week demanded that Habana along with Bakkies Botha and Argentina’s Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe return to play for their club.
Perhaps Habana wasn’t distracted because those kind of outbursts from Boudjellal aren’t new. In the same week he also raised the possibility of cancelling Leigh Halfpenny’s contract.
“It’s not up to me to decide on going back. We have the right lines of communication. SA Rugby have been working hard behind the scenes to address the rumours that have been going around this week,” Habana exclusively told Planet Rugby.
Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has demanded that Bryan Habana and Bakkies Botha quit the Springboks’ current Rugby Championship campaign and report for club duty.
Toulon recently lost 28-24 to Stade Francais, and currently sit at third on the Top 14 log.
Boudjellal is clearly not pleased with his side’s form at present, and has publicly lamented the club’s lengthy list of injuries as well as the absence of international stars like Habana, Botha, and Pumas flanker Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.
The Springboks will seek “clarity” around Bryan Habana’s controversial sin-binning but have refused to blame match officials for their one-point loss to the Wallabies in Perth.
Referee George Clancy’s call to pull a yellow card from his pocket in response to Habana’s high shot on Australian winger Rob Horne in the 65th minute lit up social media with a torrent of criticism for Clancy and the International Rugby Board’s management of its match officials.
And while a clearly agitated Heyneke Meyer walked into the post-match media conference after the match, the South African coach demurred from jumping on board, calling instead for “consistency” across the board.
Bryan Habana likes to talk about what rugby has done for him.
He talks about the 1995 World Cup, when he was an 11-year-old boy in a bubble of privilege with an abstract understanding of the dividing force of apartheid in his country, but no experience of its implications.
He talks about the path he was put on, one afternoon at Newlands Stadium, when his father pulled him out of school and drove him down from Johannesburg to watch the Springboks beat the Wallabies in the opening round of that historic tournament.
After a draw and a lopsided loss to New Zealand in the Rugby Championship, Australia goes into its match against South Africa on Saturday with a chance to give coach Ewen McKenzie a first a win against a team ranked ahead of the Wallabies.
In his 18th test as Wallabies coach, McKenzie still hasn’t led the third-ranked team to a win over a side with a better International Rugby Board ranking.
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.
Speaking ahead of the Boks’ Rugby Championship encounter with Australia, he made it clear that he is not taking the No.11 jersey for granted.
In fact Habana said there are young players – both in the team and back home – pushing him hard.
Bryan Habana will on Saturday become the fourth Springbok and 33rd player overall to play in 100 Tests when South Africa take on Australia in the third round of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship at Patersons Stadium in Perth (kickoff 12h05 SA time).
The 31-year-old Habana, who made his debut for South Africa against England at Twickenham on 20 November 2004, holds the record for the most Test tries in a Springbok jersey. His 56 Test tries places him fourth on the list of all-time international try scorers.
The three-time South African Rugby Player of the Year (2004, 2007 and 2012), who was also named the IRB Rugby Player of the Year in 2007, will lead the Springboks out on Saturday as he follows Percy Montgomery, John Smit and Victor Matfield in amassing 100 Tests in the green and gold.
The Wallabies have been the source of great pain and great satisfaction in Bryan Habana’s glittering Test career.
After the anguish of the 2011 World Cup quarter-final – a game still capable of sending a collective shudder through a Springboks team room – and the elation of last year’s watershed Test victory at Suncorp Stadium, it is fitting that the South African winger will play his 100th Test against the Wallabies in Perth.
Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Victor Matfield en Marcell Coetzee ín. Damian de Allende, Handré Pollard, Bismarck du Plessis en Lood de Jager uit.
Moenie verbaas wees indien Heyneke Meyer dié verrassende skuiwe maak in sy Springbokspan wat die Wallabies Saterdag in Perth in die Rugbykampioenskap pak nie.
Toulon have released South Africa winger Bryan Habana to play for the Blitzbokke at the Commonwealth Games.
Habana had previously been named in the original squad to compete in Scotland before the club decided to prevent him from participating.
However, Toulon have now announced that the 97-times capped flyer has been released to compete in the tournament before he links up with the Springboks to play in The Rugby Championship.
Schalk Brits is the other big name who won’t be featuring in the competition, after his release was denied by Saracens.
SASCOC have confirmed enforced late changes to the rugby sevens squad to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Cheslin Kolbe, the Western Province and Stormers speedster, has been withdrawn by Western Province due to a knee injury.
Warrick Gelant was due to replace Kolbe but was injured at the weekend and will undergo surgery this week. This sees Mark Richards, a member of the gold-medalling SA sevens team at the World Games in Colombia last year, coming in as a late replacement.
The Springbok Sevens team’s hopes of winning a medal at the Commonwealth Sevens could well have been given a blow if indications that Springbok fifteens stars Bryan Habana and Schalk Brits may have to be forced to withdraw by their respective leagues.
While both Brits’ Saracens club and Habana’s Toulon club have given them the go-ahead to be selected for the Games, it seems now that the Premiership and Top14 may well order both to withdraw as the Games falls within the prescribed off period for European rugby.
As both leagues stipulate a strict four week rest period for players during the off season, it is unlikely they will change their minds and Blitzbok coach Neil Powell may well be forced to look elsewhere to bolster his team.
It is understood that French-based players in the Springbok squad are unlikely to be available to play Scotland in next week’s Test in Port Elizabeth.
This means the likes of Morne Steyn, Gurthro Steenkamp, Bakkies Botha and Bryan Habana will all have to report back to their clubs.
It’s understood the clubs will invoke International Rugby Board (IRB) Regulation Nine, which governs the release of players for the June test window.
The regulation stipulates that releases are required for the second, third and fourth weekends of June, or for three matches.
Springboks Bryan Habana and Schalk Brits have been included in the South African sevens rugby squad for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Regular Blitzbokke coach Neill Powell will take charge of the squad, which features several household names in South African rugby.
Apart from Habana and Brits, experienced sevens campaigner Cornal Hendricks was also included. He made his Springbok debut in the 15-man code against the World XV last week.
Toulon’s South African contingent capped an unbelievably successful seven days by lifting the Bouclier de Brennus shield in Paris, after defeating Castres 18-10 in the Top 14 Final to go with their Heineken Cup title.
Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson was given the perfect send-off by Bakkies Botha, Juan Smith, Craig Burden and Bryan Habana, who all started the final, with Danie Rossouw and Michael Claassens appearing off the bench.
The match was Rossouw’s last before retirement and brings down the curtain on a truly glorious career in which he was won every trophy available to him, from league titles in Japan, France and Super Rugby to two Heineken Cups and of course the Rugby World Cup and old Tri-Nations.
South African star Bryan Habana scored a try on his return to action after a three-month absence because of a hamstring injury as Toulon beat Bordeaux-Begles 22-20 in a thrilling Top 14 encounter on Saturday.
The 30-year-old – a World Cup winner in 2007 – touched down in the 66th minute as Toulon came from 20-9 down to prevail, largely thanks to 14 points from Frederic Michalak.
The year was full of spectacular moments and performances as well as disappointing lows and infamous incidents; we name and shame the best and worst in our 2013 Awards.
New Zealand and Wales ruled their respective hemispheres for the second successive year, the All Blacks enjoying a flawless 2013 campaign.
Springbok wing Bryan Habana will be sidelined for around three weeks after suffering a thigh strain in Toulon’s 14-9 European Cup win at Exeter on Saturday.
Record-breaking South Africa wing Bryan Habana is predicting an epic battle when the Springboks take on Wales in Cardiff in November.
The 30-year-old former IRB Player of the Year is looking forward to returning to the Welsh capital next month and believes, following the success of the British and Irish Lions in mid-year, the Welsh side will be more dangerous than ever.
It was a balmy Brisbane which greeted the Springboks on Sunday evening (Australian time) after a trip of more than 20 hours that started in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, included a stopover in Sydney and ended at their hotel in the Queensland capital.
The Springboks face Australia in the third round of The Castle Lager Rugby Championship at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. Although the South Africans have not beaten the hosts at this venue in a Test, they will approach the game with a quiet confidence after two good wins over Argentina last month.
There was much annoyance among Springbok fans when it was announced not long before South Africa’s test match against Argentina in the Rugby Championship that the release of Bryan Habana was required by his new club Toulon. This increased even more when it came to light that five of the players in the current Springbok Squad for the Rugby Championship were being ‘released’ to go back to their clubs in France while the rest of the players would return for a break to South Africa.
The Springboks’ decision to continue with their overseas-based players had its first impact as the team arrived back in South Africa on Monday with no fewer than six members of the 26-man squad having to fly back to France to represent their clubs this weekend.
South African Rugby player Bryan Habana pushed himself to new heights as he went up against British Airways’ brand new superjumbo, the Airbus A380.