The appointment of the former Springbok Under 21 supremo was met with widespread criticism and even disillusionment in some quarters, but Habana insists his coach has already proved his worth.
The Boks finished their 2008 season in style, putting 50 points on Australia in the final Tri Nations fixture before defeating Wales and Scotland and hammering England during their November UK tour.
Now attentions turn to the Lions and Habana is certain the Boks have the right man in charge to lead them to a sought-after series victory.
â00Coach Peter has done really well,â0 said Habana, who knew de Villiers from his time in the South African age-group ranks and is now likely to be one of his countryâ00s most important performers against the Lions.
â00Iâ00d worked with him previously but a lot of the senior players didnâ00t really know where he was coming from. He came in and put a lot of responsibility on the players to take ownership.
â00Thatâ00s the great thing about being part of the Springbok team at the moment, weâ00re really a close-knit unit, not only on a personal level but on a rugby level as well. When youâ00re part of a team that you get 21 mates from, it makes it even more worthwhile.â0
Bryan Habana has beaten England, Scotland and Wales in recent months
De Villiers began his Springbok reign with wins over Wales (twice) and Italy, before falling to his first defeat at the hands of New Zealand in his opening Tri Nations encounter. His side bounced immediately and in stunning fashion, defeating the same opposition 30-28 in Dundein a week later.
A comfortable victory over Argentina then failed to paper over the cracks of three Tri Nations defeat in a row (two of which came on home soil), but, just as pressure on de Villiers appeared to be rising, the Boks produced the kind of rugby that had all of South Africa smiling.
A half-century of points against the Wallabies hinted at almost endless possibilities, while somewhat fortunate wins over the Welsh and the Scots were followed by an historic thrashing of their 2007 World Cup Final opponents at Twickenham.
All in all, Habana believes 2008 was a satisfying year for de Villiers and his world champion Springboks. Now the 25-year-old Bulls star is hoping that 2009 can be even better.
â00Peter de Villiers has put a lot in,â0 added Habana.
â00To win eight out of 13 in his first year, I donâ00t think is too bad. It was the first time in 10 years we won all the games on an end of year tour so I donâ00t think the results are too bad.
â00Thatâ00s something in the past now, though, and weâ00re looking forward to making a huge contribution in 2009.â0