Believing in Bryan

Bryan Habana will rediscover his form for the Springboks.

Habana is a genius. A flawed one, as 2008 has revealed, but a genius nonetheless. That assertion is not hyperbole nor baseless rhetoric. Thirty-one tries in 43 Tests bears testimony to this. But even geniuses have periods where their mortality is exposed and it is at this point where even the most prudent observers start to question their haste in ascribing greatness to the player in question. For Habana, that time is now.

In the latest issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale Wednesday, former Bok wing Pieter Rossouw, WP coach Allister Coetzee and ex-Bok mental coach Henning Gericke analyse Habana’s slump in form and explain why he will bounce back.

Also in the new mag:

– In theory, the Boks should be too strong for Wales, Scotland and England on the end-of-year tour but there are some variables that could cause a shock trip-up along the way. We examine what needs to be done to win three out of three

– A South African XV chosen from Europe’s top clubs would give most Test nations a run for their money. We select a side already familiar with northern-hemisphere conditions that perhaps should tour the United Kingdom in place of the Bok incumbents this November

– Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis talks about competing with John Smit for the No 2 jersey, the pack’s performance in the Tri-Nations, the impact of the ELVs on his game and his relationship with his brother Jannie

– Preparing to poach: When the Australian Rugby Union announced in early September that the ruling related to foreign players in its Super 14 teams was to change, it was taken as an ominous warning to South African rugby

– Former SA U21 captain and Wallabies winger Clyde Rathbone is edging dangerously close to the ‘whatever happened to?’ category. Repeated injury troubles have restricted him to just a handful of games over the past three seasons. But he’s gearing up for a big 2009 and doesn’t regret his move Down Under one bit

– The Absa Currie Cup has again witnessed the blooding of new talent across the competition. We look at the players who have stood out in their debut season

– Ross Skeate hopes his time at Toulon will lead to a Test cap but if the Boks continue to snub him, he may well opt to play for England at the 2011 World Cup

Heyneke Meyer has picked himself up off the canvas after being snubbed for the Springbok job and decided to challenge himself afresh. Sadly, no South African team will benefit from his vast knowledge and the experience gained over a 20-year career. Instead, it’s Premiership big hitters, the Leicester Tigers, who are profiting. In this exclusive interview with SA Rugby magazine, Meyer speaks about the decision to ditch a career in the business world to get back to his first love, his meetings with ‘quality guy’ Martin Johnson and the poor coaching structures in South Africa. He also launches an almighty attack on the ‘rubbish’ ELVs and gives Bok coach Peter de Villiers some free advice

– Plus: Jake White on coaching the Barbarians