Habana aiming to silence Lions

Springboks superstar Bryan Habana has set his sights on silencing the 2009 British and Irish Lions. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Springboks superstar Bryan Habana has set his sights on silencing the 2009 British and Irish Lions.

Habana brought the curtain down on a momentous year of Test rugby for South Africa by helping the recently-crowned world champions dismiss Wales 34-12 at the Millennium Stadium.

And the flying wing has admitted the Lions’ tour of South Africa, which starts in just over 18 months’ time, represents a major career target.

Habana, a 14-year-old Johannesburg schoolboy when the Lions last visited South Africa in 1997, vividly remembers that trip, which proved a stunning success for the tourists following Test victories in Cape Town and Durban.

He said: "The Lions in 2009 is the next big target for me. I would definitely like to be part of that tour and Test series.

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"I watched the 1997 tour and it was unbelievable to see the aura they brought to South Africa.

"We sort of owe them one, so 2009 is definitely a goal I have set myself."

Habana, the hottest try-scoring property in world rugby, might then consider a club career in Europe, although it is likely to be France rather than England where he plies his trade.

He added: "I don’t think I will do Britain. The cold weather is definitely not for me – the wind, rain and those minus temperatures.

"I do see myself maybe going to one of the clubs in the south of France, what with the lifestyle and climate. But that is for a few years’ time.

"Up to 2009, I am definitely going to give all that I have got to South African rugby."

Habana heads home after theTwickenham clash against the Barbarians, but rest and recuperation will soon be replaced by a determination to become even better.

He said: "It has been a good year, and we have got to go back now and get stronger and quicker.

"There is always room for improvement and there a lot of things I can improve on.

"For me, being the best in the world is about being consistent.

"Every game we go out for now we go out as world champions, and people are going to want to knock us off the number one spot.

"The pressure is certainly there, and it is going to be a lot tougher."

Habana and company ensured a winning send-off for departing Springboks coach Jake White by dismissing Wales through five well-worked tries.

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