Bryan Habana on the Pain and Disappointment of Springboks’ Performance

The Springboks returned to South Africa this week after an overseas tour in which they drew against the Barbarians and then lost to England, Italy and Wales. Both coach Allister Coetzee and skipper Adriaan Strauss expressed their deep disappointment at the outcome of the tour – but it is the words of Bok wing Bryan Habana that have touched most people, and gone viral…

Bryan Habana. Source: FB/Bryan Habana
Bryan Habana. Source: FB/Bryan Habana

Writing on Facebook, Habana said:

The pain, disappointment and lows of what happened over the past 3 weeks and that has been happening over the past 6 months is by far the toughest and lowest I have ever experienced in my rugby career, and I’ve had many lows.

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 player’s perspective, our o nfield 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.


Personally, 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 country.

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. ??

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Coetzee said: “We will now have a proper review done by SA Rugby, plus there are two more indabas scheduled where we will reflect and discuss critical issues that we have identified. I am sure that these processes will play a major role in helping us to get back on track again in the near future.”

Strauss said: “Every player is extremely proud to play for South Africa and we are massively disappointed by our performances over this year. To win four matches from 12 is not good enough for the Springboks, and we are taking full responsibility for that. We have a lot of exciting, young and talented players in the country coming through the ranks and I am positive about the future of the Springboks… As captain I will be the first one to put up my hand and to admit that we were far below what is expected of the Springboks. I am available to offer my advice and insights on where we can improve.”