Springbok legend Bryan Habana has announced that he will be retiring from all rugby at the end of the current season, at age 34.
In a whopping 124 tests, the winger has scored the most tries (67) of any Springbok, and will forever remain a legend of the game. In an Instagram post announcing his retirement he wrote:
“The inevitable moment has come knocking on my door and I’ve welcomed it in for a drink,”
“It’s been more than a year of hoping, trying, pushing and willing to get back on the field for one last time, to taste the sweet victory or encounter that gut-wrenching despair.
“But it’s unfortunately just not to be. I, like most, would have liked my career to have ended differently, but sometimes things don’t turn out quite the way we hope for.”
Habana won a World Cup with the Springboks in 2007, the same tournament in which he was the top try scorer (with 8 tries) and was awarded IRB player of the year in that year. He won two Super Rugby titles with the Bulls, played for the Barbarians and represented the Golden Lions in his early career, the Stormers and Bok Sevens before his departure to France and ultimately it is Toulon where his career comes to a finish.
So it’s my turn to say Thank You: . The inevitable moment has come knocking on my door and I’ve welcomed it in for a drink. . It’s been more than a year of hoping, trying, pushing and willing to get back on the field for one last time, to taste the sweet victory or encounter that gut-wrenching despair. To hear the roar of the crowd or grab the pill out of the air. To make that last bone crunching tackle or score that last game winning try. But it’s unfortunately just not to be. I, like most, would have liked my career to have ended differently, but sometimes things don’t turn out quite the way we hope for. . So at the end of this season, it’s time to say goodbye and thank you to the game I so dearly love. . To try and sum up the past 16 years and how quickly they’ve flown by or even begin to describe how amazing the journey has been is impossible. . I would though like to express my gratitude: . • First and foremost, to God for blessing me with the talent to play this beautiful game. • To my wife Janine, Timothy and our newborn Gabriel, for your support, sacrifice and love to follow me to all corners of the earth so that I can pursue my dreams. • To my family and friends, far and wide, who wore their hearts on their sleeves as much as I did. • To the coaches, team-mates, medical and support staff in all the teams I was involved in. • To every opponent that made the battle tough and worthwhile. • To all my sponsors over the years who believed in me enough to support me on the journey. • To the fans, who make the game what it is. • To the critics, not to prove you wrong but so that I could prove to myself I could. • To the media, who take the game to households the world over. • To the lessons learnt, through the good times and the bad. • To the friendships made and experiences a plenty. . But most of all to Rugby, because for me it truly is a game made in heaven. . As a close friend one said: “memories are all we have.” And I’m immensely grateful for the memories I take with me into the next chapter. . With much respect . BH11
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