Bryan Habana signs for Toulon

2013-01-10 11:07

Cape Town - Springbok wing Bryan Habana will leave the Stormers after this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby competition to join French Top 14 club, Toulon.

Final draw for the 2013 Super Rugby season

Die Burger was reliably informed that Habana penned the deal with the French side in the last few days.

This comes after Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal confirmed last month that the Top 14 leaders were in hot pursuit of the Springbok flyer. Boudjellal said at the time the chances of Habana joining Toulon were "closer to 10 than zero."

Toulon already have South African loose forward Joe van Niekerk and lock Bakkies Botha on their books. Former Springbok utility forward Danie Rossouw will also arrive from Suntory Sungoliath in Japan after their 2012/13 season concludes.

At this stage it's unsure exactly how long Habana, 29, will play in France, nor whether he will be available for the Springboks' Incoming Tests against Italy and Scotland in June.

The news will come as a blow to the Cape side as Habana was in top form last season, which saw him named SA Player of the Year for a third time.

Habana also won the Try of the Year award at last year's IRB awards, for his outstanding solo effort against the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship in Dunedin.

The 2013 Super Rugby season kicks off on Friday, February 15, with the Stormers due to play their first match on Friday, February 22 against Habana's former team, the Bulls, at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

HAVE YOUR SAY: How big a loss will Bryan Habana be to WP, the Stormers and the Springboks? Is the growing exodus of SA players due in main to Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer's openness to selecting overseas-based players? Send your thoughts to Sport24.


  • aubrey.gloster - 2013-01-10 11:16

    Thank goodness!!! Now a real wing with real pace can be picked!!!

      stirrer.stirrer - 2013-01-10 11:20


      brian.heunis - 2013-01-10 11:35


      maniem1 - 2013-01-10 11:39

      Hey ou aubery.gloster!!!!!! Hou jou swak komintaar vir iemand wat daarna sal luister duidelik weet jy niks van wat dit vat om bo tewees nie en jaloesie is n vieslike ding. Shame daar moet seeker mar n aap of 2 wees soos jy.Hy het hom die beste man gemaak al het hy gespeel vir wie.

      MichaelJames.ZA - 2013-01-10 11:47

      @Aubrey, did you just awake from a long-term coma? Because you certainly can't have been watching much Rugby in recent years.

      chris.buchner.12 - 2013-01-10 12:29

      Julle almal is te dom om te sien wat aubrey van praat bryan kan nie meer rugby speel nie hys te bang vir wat met hom gebeur op nie veld raak groot en kom uit julle grotte uit hy het goeie rugby gespeel maar van hy homself op die tv gesien het kan hy niks doen nie

      willem.myburghdebeer - 2013-01-10 12:37

      HAhahaha Aubrey. If not you, then there will be someone else.. You Chop!!!

      robert.p.gemmell - 2013-01-10 12:58

      Sorry Habana is to slow for you you freaking looser. maybe we should ask Usian Bolt to come and play wing or maybe he is also to slow for you.

      oopkop.denker - 2013-01-10 16:38

      Habana: SA Player of the Year 2012. IRB Try of the Year 2012. Aubrey: "Habana is not a real wing and doesn't have any pace" Me: must be a curse when you don't have a clue about something, yet you open your mouth to share your wisdom.

      jco.vanrooyen - 2013-01-11 11:51

      Totsiens Brian, jy het jou begin by die Goue Leeus deur gebring, jou beste rugby vir die Bulle gespeel en die boek toe gemaak om aan te beweeg by die Stormers. As rugby lief hebber ons was bevoorreg om jou beste rugby in SA spanne te sien speel. Dit is nou tyd om aan te beweeg, ons het goeie ander spelers wat sal deur kom. Ek wens jou die beste voor en dankie vir die prag driee wat ons van jou gesien het oor die jare heen wat jy gespeel het. Dankie!

  • ReneMuller.XOXO - 2013-01-10 11:18

    Fortunately our country is blessed with plenty talented wings to replace Habana! I think Bryan has served the Lions, Bulls and WP well, time to move on, he gave us his best years. All the best to the man!!

      pieterduplessis - 2013-01-10 13:50

      As I am reading this comments from the top, this is the first one that makes sense. It is a good time for him to go and I have full confidence in the structures and talentpool to bring more wings.

      Flemstone - 2013-01-10 15:01

      I think everyone is forgetting they didn't want him last year. Now that he's found his form again he's in demand.

  • unclejb.vansiths - 2013-01-10 11:21

    Great move for Banana all the best abroad. Just make sure you are back in time for the world cup.

  • stirrer.stirrer - 2013-01-10 11:22

    Our best wishes go with you, Bryan! You have done well for the Boks, WP/Stormers and the Bulls, you deserve the "retirement package".

  • morgaenart.farto - 2013-01-10 11:25

    ne, lekka my brutha ;-)

  • bheki.sidu.9 - 2013-01-10 11:31

    Good 4 u Habana, you've given your best years to SA Rugby, as a rugby fan, ive certainly marveled at your brilliance on the field of play. time for you to spread your wings (no pun intended). my heart still aches for what you did to my beloved SHARKS in that SR14 final. all the best nonetheless.

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2013-01-10 11:33

    All the best Bryan Habana.

  • adriaan.hugo.7 - 2013-01-10 11:33

    Huge loss for the Stormers, i just hope he will be allowed to play for the Boks. Even if people dont always rate him who will you play in his place? He i still one of the best wings in the country even if his not on top form. His work rate is epic! He will be missed at Newlands

  • Sibusiso - 2013-01-10 11:34

    What do Bryan Habana and Chester Williams have in common?Black ,token ,affirmative action rugby players with white wives.

      Moroka.Mokgoko - 2013-01-10 11:38

      As a joke or observation, that's totally unnecessary.

      donavan.boshoff - 2013-01-10 11:39

      wow a darkie pulling the race card, never saw that one coming

      bheki.sidu.9 - 2013-01-10 11:42

      ignorance personified!!! what a load of drivel

      francoisjacques.malan - 2013-01-10 11:45

      Black: maybe! White wives: yes! Affirmative action: no ways! Brilliant wingers: most definitely!

      rayno.grever - 2013-01-10 11:52

      @ sibusiso LOL, what does a black man and a hurricane have in common? It only takes one to ruin a neighbourhood. See, I can also dish out silly jokes, except mine are actually funny!

      MichaelJames.ZA - 2013-01-10 11:52

      @Sibu, what a load of cr@p. Both Bryan and Chester rate among the best players of their respective generations, and have the respect of fans based on sheer ability. Your narrow minded racism has no place here.

      BlaqDrumz - 2013-01-10 12:29

      so Sibusiso, wen Habana won IRB Player of The Year in 07, i think, was that cuz he was black? U such an idiot!

      Sibusiso - 2013-01-10 12:49

      Ha ha ha!Actually ,it wasn't a joke.I was just following the logic of many a rugby supporter that Black players(incl Indians and Coloureds) are often selected simply to meet diversity requirements.Otherwise they are excellent players and they continue to be role models to township children.

      robert.p.gemmell - 2013-01-10 13:00

      Sibusiso you are the biggest idiot in the country. If there was a place for you it would be below Malema for stupidness. Both were class rugby players who did not get chosen for their colour but there playing ability. and as I recall who holds the record for most tries by a Springbok sorry Habana you (#&$& retard

      Sibusiso - 2013-01-10 14:16

      Yes,I'm stupid.How could I forget?I'm black after all.

      graham.v.ferreira - 2013-01-10 19:19

      No Sibu they are not black - they are part of the oversupply of Coloureds in the Western Cape. Having six Non Black previously disadvantaged playes in the Protea team is not representative enough. Don't try to claim Bryan and Chester. They are not black at all.

      Sibusiso - 2013-01-10 19:28

      @Graham!and you are Coloured as well?Nah!I guess another white man claiming to know what's good for Black people.We don't need u to tell us about how we should identify ourselves.The fact that Coloureds are Black does not take away their 'Colouredness',just like my Blackness does no take away my Zuluness.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-10 23:02

      Sibusiso, you jealous about the white wives? Sorry but it looks like you'll be stuck with your black wife.

      lodewikus.jaarsveld - 2013-01-11 11:24

      HI Sibusiso, the white man did not put the quota system in place. I for one love the way both players played and would still pick Habana over any wing we ever produced. Did he count as one of the quota players under the Springbok setup? Unfortunately yes, but that is not because of his ability, but because of the government implementing those rules. Please think before you post as it seems that you would like to provoke and not discuss rugby. Good Luck!

  • thorboy.mac - 2013-01-10 11:37

    its time to retire and give way to younger speedsters, but he served us well

  • francoisjacques.malan - 2013-01-10 11:47

    Thanks for all the good tries scored at Newlands! Good luck in France! Now to see which young WP player will put his hand up! Very exciting!

  • leo.pieterse - 2013-01-10 11:52

    Hy is n lojaal soos n 10rand noot. En so gaar gebruik ook . Ma di bulle het hom geswaai tu hy ni meer sy prys werd was ni . Ja dit sal sy 4de klub wees

      chris.buchner.12 - 2013-01-10 12:25

      Weet nie hoekom mense dislike nie maar dis waar hy kan niks meer doen nie

      niel.victor - 2013-01-10 17:33

      Jy weet duidelik nie veel van rugby nie! 07 IRB Player of the Year en als 3 keer SA Player of the Year. Plus,hy is nie die enigste speler wat als by 3(tans) of 4 klubs gespeel het nie - dit is maar die loop van die professionele era!!

  • veldt66 - 2013-01-10 12:06

    Stupid comment & very racist idiot

  • morne.vandyk.58 - 2013-01-10 12:14

    Well, seeing that unlike NZ we pick overseas players, we will see a lot of guys going to play for the real money and still play for the Boks. If we want to see our Superstars play in SA we will either have to pay a lot more or tell them that you can only play for SA if you are IN SA???

  • john.comyn.18 - 2013-01-10 12:24

    Good luck to Habana. He's at a point where he needs to maximise his earning potential before he retires. He will be missed at Newlands but it's not a train smash. He probably has about one or 2 years left in him at the highest level plus another 3 years at France club level.

  • roan.murray - 2013-01-10 12:34

    How on earth can anyone say that this guy is not a fantastic rugby player I can not understand and probably never will. He is most probably the best wing we've ever had. So if you do not like rugby please do not post on rugby related articles or if you just want to stir, wait for 5 minutes as stir somewhere else. BTW : I am not a Stormers of a Bulls fan.

      sean.bagley.50 - 2013-01-10 12:53

      "He is most probably the best wing we've ever had." And on top of that he's got the winners medals to go with it including try of the year in 2012 mind you.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2013-01-10 12:53

      AGREED, the most test tries for SA, enough said!!!!!!

      manuel.p.quintino - 2013-01-10 15:00

      Best wing you've ever had huh? His wife won't be happy to hear that

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-11 05:09

      Sean, he was one of the best we ever had, but I would be reluctant to call him THE best. There's Carel du Plessis, Jannie Engelbrecht, Breyton Paulse, Chester Williams, Ray Mordt and Syd Nomis who would all be contenders for the nr. 1 spot. And that's just a few I can think of now. Two of the best wings I've ever seen, but who never played for the Boks due to islation were Kobus and Neil Burger. Kobus I think played the 2 tests vs. the World XV, but nothing else. They would have been two of the best the Boks ever had, were it not for isolation.

  • nmunyai - 2013-01-10 12:50

    Good luck to him.... He deserve this.... Peopl always criticize bt they signed him cause he can deliver

  • grant.butler.104 - 2013-01-10 12:52

    Have a feeling Andries Bekker will be next to leave, probably also at the end of Superrugby...

      stirrer.stirrer - 2013-01-10 13:40

      Oh no, who will fill the slenter position then?

      graham.v.ferreira - 2013-01-10 19:30

      Dear Dawie van Staden. You clearly don' t have much understanding of language - either English or Afrikaans. Perhaps you are little better at arithmetic. For your homework assignment could you please go and count how many tries have been scored down Bryan Habana's wing. Too difficult for you. I though so. Never mind you can reregister fot Grade Six before the end of the month. Ps. You need to loose some weight.

  • thabo.langa.77 - 2013-01-10 13:02

    So Hougie keeps his spot

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-11 00:12

      Oh NO!!!! I did not realise that would be the end result. But I think you might be right. Habana, please stay. We don't want the snail, Wallaby Hougaard.

  • dawie.vanstaden1 - 2013-01-10 13:03

    Dankie Bryan vir wat jy gedoen het vir SA Rugby en dankie dat jy gaan. Nou kan die speedsters kans kry wat kan tackle ook. Leer solank Frans

      francis.titus - 2013-01-11 00:29

      Wat n idiot @ dAwie

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-11 02:51

      Habana ken genoeg Frans om vir jou te kan se: vous êtes un branleur

      francois.leroux.33 - 2013-01-11 10:58

      va te faire foutre

  • jako.merwe - 2013-01-10 13:15

    Thanks to Heynekes infinite arrogance and stupidity, this will become the norm. Goodbye sa rugby. Long live HM`s ego

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-11 05:13

      Although I think Heineken is the worst coach in a long time, I honestly can not see how he should get the blame for this. This is a blatant unwillingness by the IRB officials in their Northern Hemisphere offices to enforce foreign player caps or even salary caps on clubs in the UK and France. This problem is felt by Aus and NZ as well. NZ even have a no selection policy if you do not play in NZ.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2013-01-11 12:21

      What a chop!!!!!

  • freddie.jones.58367 - 2013-01-10 13:50

    Maybe Bryan just wants the privilege of playing with Jonny Wilkinson!

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-11 05:14

      Johnny who?

  • mack.myburgh - 2013-01-10 14:10


  • francois.p.nel - 2013-01-10 14:11

    Good luck chap. You have had your ups and downs. But many of us will remember the countless times you have caused us to jump up and down on furniture with celebration!

  • provence.poppies - 2013-01-10 15:10

    Good for him, he is not getting younger like all of us and needs to bolster his pension package. This is a great move and Toulon are in dire need of a good fast wing that can tackle. I look forward to watching him this side of the ocean. "Bienvenue mon ami"

  • awallodien.rockman - 2013-01-10 15:37

    Great for Bryan!!!

  • awallodien.rockman - 2013-01-10 15:38

    Great for Bryan!!!

  • Billy - 2013-01-10 16:08

    agge nee! :( oh well, cheers dude, best of luck. show them WHY!!

  • leonardo.esau.5 - 2013-01-10 16:33

    Smart move.what blue bull will be bought to replace him?

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-11 01:03

      Maybe they'll buy one of the many back that was originally bought from WP.

  • leonardo.esau.5 - 2013-01-10 16:33

    Smart move.what blue bull will be bought to replace him?

  • leonardo.esau.5 - 2013-01-10 16:33

    Smart move.what blue bull will be bought to replace him?

      stirrer.stirrer - 2013-01-10 16:47

      No purchase necessary. All the Bulls will be too happy to play for the Stormers for free :-)

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-11 01:04

      Stirrer, just a pitty for those Bulls players who all want to play for WP, none of them are good enough to play in a champion team like WP.

  • craven.luyt - 2013-01-10 18:09

    Thanks for your blood guts and blistering pace, you have made me do many a little dances in front of the tv( for the Mighty Bulls), you have also made me curse you( Stormers). Go get your retirement you deserve it.

  • ledzepkid.zn - 2013-01-10 22:51

    People will only really appreciate the hard work he puts in when he is not there anymore. We are lucky in that we have so much talent available to us, and JP Pietersen seems to be enjoying some of the best form he's had during his career, excluding the hand injury.

  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-10 22:59

    Thanks for the memories, Bryan. Enjoy retirement.

  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-11 02:53

    I just hope for Toulon's sake the French Rugby Union never introduces quotas in French rugby. If they say each club must have at least three French players, Toulon will be in deep $#%*.

  • bill.burgess.338 - 2013-01-11 09:37

    Brian is leaving to make some big bucks in the latter part of his career and why not. The days of player loyalty is over and in fact was over many years ago. Good Luck Brian.

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