After an indifferent 2008, Bryan Habana has rebounded in an impressive manner this year.
While Habana hasn’t been the try-scoring phenomenon he was in 2007, he certainly looks a different player to the one who had masqueraded as the world’s best winger.
SA Rugby magazine’s four experts – Heyneke Meyer, Dick Muir, Robbie Fleck and Sherylle Calder – establish the reasons for his return to form and explain why he can get even better.
‘What’s been most impressive is his work rate off the ball,’ says Meyer. ‘I don’t need to explain his capacity to destroy defences with ball in hand, but the way he has committed himself to the kick-chase – whether it be in general play or from the restarts – has been phenomenal and central to the Springboks’ success this season.
‘I’ve also often seen him making tackles on the right wing, which tells me he’s reading the game better and has a desire to go the extra mile to ensure his side wins.’
Also in the new issue:
– Peter de Villiers on his ‘technical deficiencies’, how the Bok game plan is determined, whether he regrets the way he defended Schalk Burger during the Lions series, and his transformation ‘failures’
– SA Rugby magazine looks ahead to the Springboks’ five-match end-of-year tour and what they can hope to achieve from each encounter
– Bakkies Botha may be regarded as the Bok enforcer but these days he’s killing his opponents with kindness
– Nick Mallett on the challenges facing Italian rugby, the key to beating the Boks, and his future in coaching
– Ronan O’Gara’s last-minute brain explosion at Loftus allowed Morne Steyn to kick the penalty that gave the Boks a series win against the Lions. The Irish flyhalf speaks candidly about the pain it caused him and the prospect of meeting the world champions again in November
– France No 8 Imanol Harinordoquy hates the English, loves cattle farming and has his own clothing label. He’s also at the peak of his powers as a rugby player
– Rassie Erasmus explains why Western Province have to look beyond their borders for talent, but why they also need to produce young stars of their own
– Juan de Jongh, Western Province’s brightest young prospect, is a rare blend of grit and guile
– Why Craig Burden has what it takes to become the ultimate hooker
– Jano Vermaak is the most disciplined and best conditioned player at the Lions. Fortunately for the Jo’burg-based union, he’s decided to stay put until 2011
– Brent Russell on life in Clermont, learning French, why overseas-based players should be considered for the Boks and whether he would return to South Africa to play for the Southern Kings