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Saturday, January 14, 2006


Rugby Personalities: Bryan makes peace on the wing

Bryan Habana has previously made little secret of his desire to play in the midfield. Here he explains to the Pretoria News' Brenden Nel that he has come to terms with the wing position.

When Habana left the Lions to join the Bulls he insisted on a clause in his contract to play in the midfield, not be pushed out to the wings.

Subsequent international acclaim and sparkling performances for both the Bulls and the Boks have led to a rethink and when Bryan signed his latest 2 year contract, the clause was quietly left out.

Speaking to the Pretoria News and IOL's Brenden Nel, Bryan says, "It was something that was there before I become a Springbok, it is no big thing for me at the moment. I have enjoyed my time on the wing and understand that this is the position where I will be of most use to the team.

"To me it is more about where I can best contribute to the cause. I know that it has helped to be on the wing at this stage of my career, but I am looking forward to moving back to centre at a later stage."

Bryan goes on to explain how he has settled and is enjoying his rugby with the Bulls, "I have enjoyed my time here and there is nowhere else I want to play my rugby.

"The contract gives both sides an option to review it yearly, so if I'm not happy or the Bulls aren't happy, we can talk about it."

Bernie Habana, Bryan's father and agent, elaborates, "There were a number of reasons why he moved from the Lions a year ago and he has enjoyed his time here so much that it made good sense to stay.

"In South African rugby nowadays there is not much loyalty anymore and given the way Bryan has been treated and accepted as part of the Blue Bulls family, it is only natural to expect some loyalty back. That's why he signed," Bernie Habana said.

"Bryan is as much part of Loftus as the coaches, administrators and secretaries.

"In fact, if you ask him who the secretaries were at Ellis Park, he could name maybe one or two. Here he knows everyone and is part of the family."

So far, Bryan is best remembered for THAT solo try playing for the Bulls at Loftus but his international career has been equally stellar.

Whilst not yet the complete deal he is young enough to go on to become one of the genuine legends of South African rugby. Let's hope his feet stay firmly planted on the ground and we get to see years more of his corruscating breaks down the wing.

Many people still believe centre is where he'd best shine for the Boks and, no doubt, he'll probably get a chance in the future to revert back to his old favoured position.

Information and quote sources: Pretoria News, IOL.
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