Cape Town - Star Springbok wing Bryan Habana says the Springboks' struggles this year have represented the lowest point in his 124-Test career.
After missing the June series against Ireland, Habana returned to the
Bok set-up and started in all six Rugby Championship matches.
He missed the non-Test clash against the Barbarians as well as the Test against England at Twickenham, but returned for the disastrous defeat against Italy before being dropped for the final match against Wales in Cardiff.
A winless end-of-year tour - the first such occurrence since 2002 - ultimately saw the Boks finish the year with
a record of just four wins from 12 Tests.
In a post on
his Instagram account, Habana, who boasts the second-most Test caps behind Victor Matfield (127) and the most tries (67) in the Green & Gold, admitted the results had been hard to take.
'The pain, disappointment and lows of what happened over the past three
weeks and that has been happening over the past six months is by far
the toughest and lowest I have ever experienced in my rugby career, and
I've had many lows,' he wrote.
'To even begin to explain where it's all gone wrong is immensely
difficult as there are so many things across the board to dissect and
you cannot put it down to just one thing. Purely from a players
perspective, our on-field performances, bar a few individuals at certain
times, hasn't been up to standard and we take full responsibility for
that despite all the off-field issues.'
Habana also accepted personal responsibility for his part in the Boks' poor performances.
'I honestly felt that I could make a positive influence and impact both
on and off the field in 2016, and unfortunately I haven't been able to
do that and I apologise for the part I played in the results of this
year. I fully understand the hurt, dissatisfaction and despair felt
about where this current Springbok team is and I'm also prepared to face
all the criticism that comes my way in the part I've played.
'Like you all, I also want to see the Springboks be a force to be
reckoned with and instill pride back into the jersey and be that symbol
of hope and unity that it has been on so many occasions for our
He concluded by offering a suggestion for a solution for the current woes blighting South African
'I believe open and honest discussions need to be had with all the key
role players, administrators, politicians, coaches and players to start a
proper process of rebuilding and implementation of structures. Whether
or not I'm a part of this group going forward, or whether changes get
made on an administrative, coaching or players level, we can never lose
the belief that we can fix it.'