CAPE TOWN. – Former wing Bryan Habana says overseas Springboks played a pivotal role in helping the Springboks beat England in a recent home rugby series. English-based scrumhalf Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks), fullback Willie le Roux (Wasps) and No 8 Duane Vermeulen (a new recruit at Japanese club Kubota Spears) were instrumental for the Boks in their 2-1 series triumph.
In an interview with Omnisport, Habana said the England series was a “real positive” for the Boks after two disappointing campaigns under Allister Coetzee as head coach. “The positive (change) out of the June series is the way the overseas-based players have stepped up to the plate, which hasn’t quite been there in the previous two years,” Habana said.
“The way the players went about coming from behind in that series, especially in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, was really good to see.” The Boks won the first Test in Johannesburg 42-39, before sealing the series in Bloemfontein with a 23-12 victory. England won the final Test in Cape Town 25-10.
Habana, who retired from professional rugby in April, said he was confident that the Boks would be a force at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan under the guidance of new coach Rassie Erasmus.
The 35-year-old Habana is South Africa’s all-time leading try scorer with 67 tries from his 124 Tests. – Sport24.