Cape Town - Fellow-Springbok wing Breyton
Paulse is unworried about the possibility that Saturday could mark Bryan
Habana’s swansong appearance in a Test on South African soil.
As reported on Sport24 earlier, the veteran
Habana earns his 123rd cap when the Boks tackle arch-rivals the All
Blacks at Kings Park and with no further home internationals to follow in 2016,
there must be at least some risk that the legendary, record try-scorer - he
turns 34 next June, and being foreign-based may also become an increasing
impediment - is playing his final Test in the country of his birth.
But Paulse, now a SuperSport pundit and
having shared the Bok dressing room with Habana in his own closing years as a
Test star, believes “the end is not there yet” for the incumbent, scheduled to
mark Israel Dagg from his berth back on the left wing (after a spell on the
right) in Durban.
“I believe Bryan’s experience has been
priceless this year, especially as he has often been surrounded by guys with no
more than seven or eight Test caps to show,” he said on Friday.
“He has a wealth of knowledge to aid the
process of taking this team forward; you just can’t field an all-rookie
backline at international level.
“It’s clear enough that he still has the
hunger, and remember that even the very best of players will make the odd
mistake in certain games.
“People have written him off before,
including in that two-year period some time back when he went a bit off his
game – yet he bounced back a new, revitalised player.”
Paulse says an additional factor helping
Habana’s longevity is that he is a devoted athlete who keeps his body in tiptop
“He reminds me of Percy Montgomery, who
also played to a good age, as the ultimate professional, never shying away from
“So let’s not chase Bryan away; he could
still offer a lot in 2017, I think.”
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