Rassie makes major play for Habana

Bryan Habana will meet Western Province coach Rassie Erasmus on Monday with the latter set to make an audacious offer to the winger.

Habana’s father and agent Bernie Habana confirmed this to the Cape Times, adding that he will be meeting with WP managing director Rob Wagner while Erasmus courts the 2008 IRB Player of the Year.

‘We have not received an offer from Western Province,” Bernie told the paper. ‘We have never offered Bryan’s services to anyone. Rassie phoned me a while back enquiring about Bryan, and this is how tomorrow’s meeting came about.

‘Bryan didn’t even know about Western Province’s interest until today [Sunday], when I told him we are going to Cape Town. He in fact asked me “What for?” and I told him. So we will see what happens at the meeting tomorrow.’

Habana’s contract with the Bulls runs until 31 October. The winger is reported to have received a number of lucrative offers from European clubs, but Bernie insists they are looking at their South African options first. He also represents Wynand Olivier, who recently extended his deal with the Pretoria union, which will stir confidence in the Bulls, who will be desperate to hold on to Habana.

‘We met with the Blue Bulls yesterday and had a deep discussion about Bryan’s situation. We have given our price and it is now up to them to make Bryan an offer,’ he said.

‘The first prize would be for Bryan to stay in South Africa and that is what everyone wants. But he has to make up his mind on what he wants to do.’

WP are currently embroiled in an all too public battle with the Lions to try and secure the services of Springbok centre Jaque Fourie, who has signalled his desire to leave the union via his agent. The move would be a logical one for Fourie, as WP are a step up in terms of quality.

Habana, however, will be taking a step down. He’s won two Super 14 titles with the Bulls, but is yet to bag a Currie Cup, a trophy he said he was determined to add to his collection. Whether he’ll replicate that success at WP, who are losing senior players Luke Watson (Bath), Jean de Villiers (Munster) and Chris Jack (Crusaders) after the Currie Cup, is debatable.

Speaking about his son’s appreciation of Cape Town Bernie said, ‘Bryan loves the Cape. He has lots of friends there and has been there on holiday, but it is different when you have to live in a place.

‘He also doesn’t want to rush into any decision. He wants to go through all offers before deciding where he wants to play. That is a good way of doing things. We have also told Bulls coach Frans Ludeke that we are going to Cape Town, so there are no secrets.’