Bryan Habana set to face Wales
SO long Wales’ nemesis, South African legend Bryan Habana is set to haunt them again at the Millennium Stadium this weekend as he was passed fit to play.
The 30-year-old is set to win his 93rd cap in Cardiff on Saturday evening, the devastating wing having shaken off a niggling injury.
A World Cup winner with the Springboks in 2007, just before he was named the International Rugby Board’s player of the year, had been doubt after tweaking his hamstring last month.
Habana, who recently joined big spending Heineken Cup holders Toulon, pulled up during the Boks’ valiant 38-27 home defeat to New Zealand as the All Blacks secured successive Rugby Championship titles after a titanic clash last month.
Named Bryan Gary Habana by his parents after Manchester United and England great Bryan Robson and Old Trafford's South African-raised goalkeeper Gary Bailey, he has smashed the Boks’ all-time try scoring record.
He has crossed for 53 touchdowns for the Springboks and is 15 ahead of old favourite, the scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen who is battling the debilitating effects of motor neurone disease.
Habana will be looking to extend his remarkable strike rate and came through unscathed on his Toulon debut this weekend, the Côte d'Azur giants battering Bordeaux-Bègles 37-17 at home in the Top 14.
Springboks team doctor Craig Roberts of him: “He did well. He played 63 minutes. It was his first game back from that hamstring injury that he pulled.
“He came through nicely and we are happy where he is. Obviously today is the first training session, so we can see exactly where he is with that, but it’s looking good at this stage.” He added: “Everyone is fit to play.”
South Africa play Wales this weekend before taking on Scotland and France.
“We’re all very excited to be here and we are looking forward to the challenge of playing three very tough Test matches on this tour,” said captain Jean de Villiers.
“At this stage, we’re not looking past the Wales Test, which promises to be an epic match. “We had three hard days of training in Johannesburg before we left, but the weather was warm and sunny.
“As we drove into Wales, it started raining and we’re expecting similar conditions this week. We’ll adapt to the weather conditions this week, but we still want to go out there and play positive attacking rugby. Playing the Six Nations champions will be a big challenge but that is why we all love playing Test rugby.”
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