South African Rugby icon Bryan Habana announces retirement

    Photo by Joe Toth/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (5333479ao)

    Iconic South African Rugby star Bryan Habana has announced that he is hanging up his boots.

    Habana was one of the main stars from the South African squad which won the 2007 Rugby World Cup in England and was named IRB Player of the Year that same year.  He was also named as South African Rugby player of the year in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

    The 35-year-old had struggled to earn playing time with Toulon following knee surgery.

    During his illustrious playing career, Habana represented the Bulls, Stormers and Lions in South Africa and after joining Toulon in 2013, he helped the club to win two European Champions Cups as well as a Top 14 title.

    Habana confirmed his retirement in an emotional Instagram post.

    ‘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,’ he said. ‘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.’