Bryan Habana was on Saturday congratulated by Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) on the landmark of reaching a century of Test appearances for the Springboks. He is the fourth South African and only the 33rd player in world rugby to have achieved the feat.
Habana reached the landmark in the Springboks’ Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against Australia in Perth today (Saturday), nine years, nine months and 18 days after making his try-scoring debut at Twickenham in 2004. Australia won Saturday’s match, 24-23.
“No praise is high enough for what Bryan has achieved and particularly the manner in which he has reached this milestone in his career,” said Mr Hoskins.
“It is certainly a feat of durability and longevity and it is testimony to the very highest ability as a rugby player that he has been a fixture in the team since making his debut.
“But just as impressive has been the exceptional manner in which he has conducted himself as a Springbok in that time. He has been an outstanding ambassador for our sport and for South Africa and has conducted himself impeccably at all times.
“He has not allowed his considerable celebrity status to change his behaviour and he remains as humble, courteous and respectful to everyone he meets – regardless of their importance or status – as the day he was first selected. That is a true measure of a champion.”
Mr Hoskins added that Habana’s on-field performance had obviously set him apart.
“Bryan’s natural ability and his dedication to the game have combined to give him an astonishing career. He has deserved every accolade he has received and his Springbok career is star-studded with firsts and records as proof of his impact as a player,” said Mr Hoskins.
“His try-scoring feats have been critical in many Springbok victories and the sight of him blazing down the wing with ball in hand has been one of the most thrilling in our rugby for a decade. The name Habana will be considered whenever great Springbok teams are discussed for generations to come.
“I’d like to thank Bryan on behalf of the South African rugby community for his contribution to our sport and our nation, both on and off the field, over the past decade. I trust he is far from finished and we will enjoy the sight of him scoring tries for the Boks in seasons to come.”
Habana has scored 56 tries in 100 Tests to hold the South African record for tries in Tests.