South African rugby great, Bryan Habana, has announced via his Instagram account that the “inevitable moment” has arrived and that he would be retiring.
Plagued by injuries since December 2017, Bryan had battled to get back on the field and will be leaving all forms of the game by the end of this season.
On his Instagram account he wrote, “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.”
Describing rugby as a “game made in heaven”, Bryan expressed gratitude to his family, friends, coaches, team-mates, medical and support staff, opponents, sponsors, fans, and to the media. He even thanked his critics because they helped him push harder and aim higher. It was also in this month that he experienced the joy of becoming a father for the second time to baby Gabriel. He is also the father to 4 year old Timothy.
During his 16 year career as a professional rugby player, the 34 year old Bryan has dominated in every aspect of the game. He has been part of the teams that won the Currie Cup, Super Rugby title, European Rugby Champions Cup, and Top 14 French League title. He has been instrumental in the Sprinbok’s winning the World Cup, Tri-Nations, and the Lions Series. He has been selected as SARU Player Of The Year, and the International Rugby Board Player Of The Year. He scored the SuperSport Try of the year and the International Rugby Players’ Association Try of the Year.
In addition to all these achievements, in 2015 Bryan equaled Jonah Lomu’s record of 15 World Cup tries and he is South Africa’s top try scorer with 67 tries in 124 Test matches. His 67 tries is also the second most tries scored internationally. He is considered by many to be the best rugby player and wing that South Africa has ever produced.
In his Instagram statement, he states that memories are all we have and he is immensely grateful for the memories that he takes with him into the next chapter.