Springbok assistant coach Gary Gold believes Bryan Habana will be one of his country’s star performers during the summer series against the Lions.
Former London Irish coach Gold told HSBC that speculation regarding Habana’s recent form and his month-long injury layoff are of no concern to the Springbok management.
"There has been some debate in the media about Bryan Habana and whether he has lost his spark," said Gold.
"I can reassure you 110% that, to me, Bryan Habana is still a world class player and South Africa are very lucky to have him in our squad."
The former IRB World Player of the Year had been sidelined since February 28 after having an operation on his hand but returned to action in the Bulls’ defeat to the Crusaders take on Friday.
Gold, who will be looking to help Peter de Villiers lead the Boks to a series victory over the Lions having already disposed of England, Scotland and Wales last November, insists that Habana’s time out injured could be a bonus rather than a curse.
"He has hurt his hand during the Super 14 but I actually think it is a blessing in disguise.
"Expectations were so high for Bryan – every time he plays a game the pressure is on him to win the match.
"I think this injury has come at a good time for him and will let him rest and relax. I don’t believe he is showing a lack of form at all and still believe he is outstanding."