By Adam Ellis
Rugby World Cup winner Bryan Habana has announced he will retire from all rugby at the end of the season.
The South Africa speedster, 34, will leave the game with a haul of international and club honours topped by a 2007 Rugby World Cup winners’ medal and 124 Springbok caps.
Finishing his career on the Cote d’Azur with two-time European champions Toulon, the former Bulls and Stormers wing released a emotional statement on social media confirming he wil be hanging up his boots come the end of May.
Habana 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.
“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.”
International rugby’s second highest tryscorer with 67 tries, Habana has been hampered by a lack of fitness for much of this season in the Top 14 following knee surgery last summer.
By Adam Ellis