The 2 men who changed Bryan Habana's path

 Bryan Habana (Gallo)
Bryan Habana (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok legend Bryan Habana, who has announced his retirement from professional rugby, has credited two men for changing his path in the sport. 

Now 34, Habana will go down as one of the greatest Springboks of all time. He is his country's all-time leading try scorer, with 67 scores from 124 Tests, and he will also be considered one of the great wings the game has seen. 

But, Habana was not always destined for the No 11 jersey. 

When he began his career as a youngster at the Lions, Habana was trying to make his way as a scrumhalf. 

It was the vision of backline coach Eugene Eloff, Habana says, that was the catalyst for his new path in the game. 

Eloff told Habana that, if he really wanted to make it in the sport, he would have to play at outside centre. 

The coach then asked Habana to write an essay on a player who he felt displayed the qualities that he aspired towards. 

"He said 'choose a player you can mould yourself around' and I'll never forget that I actually did a 4-5 page essay on Brian O'Driscoll," Habana told the Irish Independent

"Brian had come onto the scene on that Lions Tour in 2001 and I did this whole essay on centre play and I actually got my big break playing at centre for the Lions in 2004."

Looking back, Habana credits Eloff for having that vision. 

"He played a vital role on how my career turned out. He was important because he made that decision with me," he said.

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