Has Habana played his last Test?
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: South Africa legend Bryan Habana concedes his time with the Springboks may be coming to an end.
Habana – second on his nation’s list of most-capped players with 123 appearances, just four shy of Victor Matfield – last featured against Italy in November 2016.
The 34-year-old wing, the Springboks’ leading try-scorer with 67, has not played any rugby since April due to a knee injury, while Allister Coetzee’s side have enjoyed a promising 2017 in his absence.
A 3-0 clean sweep of France in June was followed by back-to-back wins over Argentina to open their Rugby Championship campaign, before a 23-23 draw with Australia last weekend, having been 10 points in arrears.
“At the present moment of time I know where I stand with Allister Coetzee,” 2007 World Cup winner Habana told ESPN.
“I fully understand that leading up to a World Cup [in Japan in 2019], there needs to be a blooding of a new intake [whereas] I’m coming towards the end of my career.
“If I get an opportunity, maybe later in the year, to be a part of the Springboks then I would grab it with both hands but looking at the current crop of players I definitely think that [the] Springbok team is in very good hands and the way they have gelled and performed over the last two or three months has been fantastic.
“If it is me being done, I can look back on my career and be unbelievably proud of not only what I have achieved but of what I have been able to be a part of.
“Hopefully I’ve left the jersey in a better place than when I received it back in 2004.
“If I can contribute in any way or form I’d love to do it but at the moment looking at the squad it’s in a good place so I’m not going to be shy if it doesn’t happen for me anymore.”