Habana is world's best - Gear

2012-10-05 08:04
Cape Town - All Black wing Hosea Gear has labelled South Africa's Bryan Habana as the best wing in world rugby ahead of their clash in Soweto on Saturday.

Left wing Gear will be Habana's direct opponent on Saturday after he was on Thursday recalled to the All Black side for their final Rugby Championship match.

Gear replaces Julian Savea, who produced arguably his best game for the All Blacks in his short international career last week in La Plata against Argentina where he scored two tries and displayed deft handling to set up one of Cory Jane's three tries in the 54-15 victory that clinched the title for the All Blacks.

"He (Habana) is one of the quickest opponents that I've played against - and I believe he's the top winger in world rugby," Gear told Beeld.

This will only be Gear's second match in three months but he knows there will be no time to "ease" his way back.

"Luckily I've got Conrad (Smith) next to me to help with defence," he said.

Coach Steve Hansen made just one other change to the starting side that demolished the Pumas with lock Brodie Retallick coming off the bench for Luke Romano, who shifts back to the bench.

The clash at the FNB Stadium kicks off at 17:00.

Teams:

South Africa:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Patrick Lambie

New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Tamati Ellison

HAVE YOUR SAY: Is Bryan Habana the world's best wing? Send your thoughts to Sport24.

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