Yen calling Habana's name?

2011-10-13 14:17

Brenden Nel - SuperSport

Johannesburg - Springbok wing Bryan Habana may be the next big profile names to jet off to Japan after it was confirmed he is in negotiations with top Japanese team Kobe Steelers.

Habana is yet to conclude negotiations with Western Province and the Stormers and can earn big money in Japan where he will join Rugby World Cup team-mates Danie Rossouw and Fourie du Preez, both of whom have signed for Suntory Sungoliath for the next two years.

Habana had been turned down by French Top 14 club Toulon for wanting R21 million over three years rather than the R18 million they were offering him. According to sources in Europe, Habana’s name is still being mentioned there, but it seems he has decided to stay in Cape Town, unless the Japanese can convince him.

The Kobe Steelers already have one South African player in Peter Grant and it seems the lure of the Yen and a lower intensity of games are an attractive combination at the moment, with many New Zealand and Australian players opting for the Far East.

WP CEO Rob Wagner confirmed earlier this week that Jaque Fourie had been speaking to Japanese clubs.

“Jaque let us know immediately that a quite a few Japanese clubs spoke to him,” said Wagner.

“It is always the case that clubs put their feelers out to big players who have not lengthened their contracts for the next season.”

“Jaque let us know that he does not want to make any decision until he has spoken to us and because he had to focus on the World Cup, we did not want to speak to him on the phone every single day,” insisted Wagner.

WP may opt for an arrangement similar to Grant's, where he returns midway through the Super Rugby season.


  • Baylion - 2011-10-13 14:22

    Well, Habana did look to move to France earlier this year but couldn't get his price. And it may not be a bad thing for WP to lose one or two of their highly paid players giving them more funds to keep their promising youngsters. Just look at how many good youngsters the Bulls could buy for next year now that their old men don't drain their funds anymore

      Green Oaks - 2011-10-13 14:39

      I think the way he is playing now, the Japanese league might even be too high for him.

      MaanDonkie - 2011-10-13 14:49

      He was a great servant to SA rugby, but he's reached that dreaded sell by date! Go and eat sushi, earn yens and enjoy the sunset of your career. ( Ps Dont take your old man as your agent)

      Wide Awake - 2011-10-13 14:59

      Personally I think that is a good idea. With him leaving and JJ & Sadie going North it gives adequate opportunities for some youngsters to make their mark. 2015 RWC around the corner and all provinces need to bring talent through the ranks and give them experience sooner than later to enable them to make a step up to "adult" rugby.

      Kaapie - 2011-10-13 15:19

      Frankly I think he should go as well. He isnt a balanced runner, cant step like Aplon and only has straight line speed. His opponents have worked him out. What I can say is he is not afraid defensively and has good work ethic around the park..WP could have done better by enticing Mapoe.. would have been cheaper too

      Fleckie - 2011-10-13 16:14

      Everyones talks about the youngsters coming through, however there are bugger all wings at the mo. Poolman is the only one now that JJ and Sadie are off. We need him for another year, until Mbovane ect come through the ranks. Fourie also needs to stay, wouldve been fine to let him go if Sadie was staying but thats not the case.We are never gonna win a bloody thing if senior players keep leaving.

  • John Douglas - 2011-10-13 14:23

    As an Aussie and Bulls supporter I'll be quite disapointed if he's not available for the Boks and Stormers anymore.

      gooinat - 2011-10-13 14:36

      Stupid comment....................!!!!!!!!

      John Douglas - 2011-10-13 14:43

      Gooinat, do you have any idea what happened to regulars like Saffa cat, docraven, Bulldozer and jk? It's not the same without them.

      gooinat - 2011-10-13 14:48

      Saffa Cat was on this am for a bit,JK is probably still waiting for Bulldozer behind Midas headquarters wherever that may be!!!!!On a serious note no,I have no clue where they have all dissapeared to,quite sad actually,having a go at each other is like part of my day now and I'm missing it:(:(

      John Douglas - 2011-10-13 14:53

      It's seriously not the same.

      check-checke - 2011-10-13 15:07

      All people has the opportunity to at least be stupid once but you are abusing the system

      Taetjo - 2011-10-13 15:30

      Why...? He was becoming more and more useless by the day.

  • julie - 2011-10-13 14:25


  • Catarina - 2011-10-13 14:35

    R 21 million as opposed to R 18 million to go to a top European club.......... Habana is a has been and a prima donna............. He is not worth R 10........good riddance. His time is over...... bring on MVOVO.

  • Anneleen - 2011-10-13 14:35

    Habana, sterkte met jou toekomsplanne... make me think about the 80's hit song "Turning Japanese"...may you be a hit as well!

      LBS - 2011-10-13 15:52

      Voorspoed Habana, ek hoop jy en Percy het julle Harley rit geniet! (Jy weet waarvan ek praat)

  • Buck - 2011-10-13 14:49

    Bye Brian you will not be missed at the Stormers or at Province! Your days were numbered long ago, enjoy your money!

  • dithala - 2011-10-13 15:04

    Did they tell him about the earthquakes and the tsunamis of that place?

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-10-13 15:05

    Bryanuji Habanayuki.

      Christy - 2011-10-13 16:30 just made my

      Christy - 2011-10-13 16:41

      what will you call habana's wife?

  • Superdude - 2011-10-13 15:11

    A 'top team' in Japan? That would be like playing for Maties, or Tuks, so about right for Habana's form and pace these days then. Good luck dude, you have been a great player for SA, but its probably a good time to say goodbye.

  • MBSS (Meeste bulls supporters Suck) - 2011-10-13 15:18

    Yes please GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BlouBal - 2011-10-13 15:22

    Please, just keep far away from the SHARKS!

  • Jaco - 2011-10-13 15:36

    Please Habana.... you would do a favour to WP....

  • Roy - 2011-10-13 15:40

    Cannot understand why any other country would be interested in the likes of Bakkies Botha,Brian Habana and all our "old" rugby players who went to the RWC as injured players and who fared very badly when they went on to the field. These guys are prone to injury and do not play games for more than the first half and then are "injured".

  • Hanjo - 2011-10-13 15:48

    People seem to be their usual funny selves today, but admit it, Habana looked very good in his last few games, He scored in the 40min he was on the field against Namibia , he then scored against Samoa, but injured himself, he may have scored another or two in that game...he then had a pretty decent outing against the Aussies, looked very good, personally I felt he was taken off too early. the NZ commentator seemed to agree with me. Lets see what he does back in the WP jersey, but I felt he may have finally ended that run of bad form and try scoring drought behind him...if this is indeed the end of his Bok Career, we will never know I guess...

      Grunk - 2011-10-13 17:12

      If he didn't score against Namibia, that would have been a miracle in a game with 80+ pts scored. As for the Samoan try, he seriously juggled the ball and almost lost it. His time has come - and gone.

  • Boy Louw - 2011-10-13 17:22

    Province won't miss him, what a waste of money he has been!

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