Springboks

Habana: 2019 Boks could eclipse classes of 1995, 2007

Bryan Habana (Getty)
Bryan Habana (Getty)

Cape Town - Bryan Habana believes the current Springboks have the potential to go on and do even greater things after winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

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Speaking as a newly unveiled Academy member at the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin, the most prolific try scorer in South African rugby history - 67 tries in 124 Tests - looked back on what was one of the greatest moments in South African sporting history. 

Habana was one of the stars of the side that won the 2007 World Cup in France and had just turned 12 when Francois Pienaar's side famously lifted the Webb Ellis Cup on home soil in 1995, but he believes that the triumphs of 2019 could surpass both of those. 

"It was phenomenal," Habana said, reflecting on the 2019 showpiece. 

"The stories of guys like Makazole Mapimpi, Siya Kolisi, Lukhanyo Am are incredible.

"One would hope that this could potentially eclipse 1995 and 2007 put together and that this team and individuals could go on to become real sporting heroes because we saw the sporting euphoria around South Africa last year and it was absolutely brilliant."

Habana's last Test before retirement was 2016's shocking loss Italy in Florence, and while that was not the way he wanted his career to end, he praised the work done by coach Rassie Erasmus in turning the side's fortunes around in such a short space of time. 

"Where the team was 18 months ago, to do what they did and become the first team to lose a game at a Rugby World Cup and go on to win it, the first team to win a Rugby Championship and a Rugby World Cup in the same year ... it's absolutely fantastic," said Habana. 

The Boks, meanwhile, are up for the Team of the Year award in Berlin on Monday night.

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