Habana boost for Blitzboks

Bryan Habana is set to join the Springbok Sevens squad in Stellenbosch on Tuesday and will be available for the next two rounds of the World Rugby Sevens Series in the USA and Canada.

SA Rugby confirmed on Monday that an agreement had been reached with Habana's French club side, Toulon, to ensure his availability for the popular Las Vegas tournament that takes place from 4 to 6 March, to be followed by the inaugural event in Vancouver on 12 and 13 March.

The 2007 World Cup winner and most prolific South African Test try-scorer made his only two Springbok Sevens appearances in 2004, in Wellington and Los Angeles, a couple of months before his Springbok Test debut.

Blitzboks coach Neil Powell described Habana’s availability for the next two rounds of the series as a fantastic development for his squad.

'Bryan is an unbelievable rugby player and his outstanding playing record and achievements in the Springbok jersey speaks for itself. I am really excited by the prospects of him joining our training squad.

'Bryan is one of those players who always has a lot of energy,' Powell added. 'Apart from that, he brings with him a lot of experience of playing rugby at the very top level, so in that sense his presence in the squad will also be a great motivational factor for our guys. I can tell you Bryan is very eager to learn. He realises that it’s been a very long time since he last played sevens, but he is excited by this challenge and really looking forward to be part of our system.'

Powell’s squad has also been boosted by the return to action of four experienced players – Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Cecil Africa and Justin Geduld – who have all returned to full training after recovering from their respective injuries.

Powell will name his 12-man squad for the two-week trip to North America on Thursday. The squad will fly out to Las Vegas on Friday evening.

Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis