Habana welcomes Allister Coetzee's appointment

Thirty-two-year-old Habana says Coetzee is the right man at the right time for the Springboks.

South Africas wing Bryan Habana catches the ball during the captains run at Twickenham Stadium, west of London, on October 23, 2015, on the eve of the teams 2015 Rugby Union World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

BERLIN - Springbok record try-scorer Bryan Habana has welcomed the appointment of Allister Coetzee as Springbok coach, believing that he has all the attributes to succeed in world rugby's toughest job.

Coetzee was appointed last week and succeeds Heyneke Meyer who led the team until the world cup in England last year.

Habana was speaking in Berlin ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards which take place tonight.

The 32-year-old Habana, who currently plays for French club Toulon and previously under Coetzee at the Stormers, says that it's the right man at the right time.

"Probably the most difficult job in the world rugby at the moment given amount of factors that you take into consideration when you're in the post. But I don't think there could be a better guy at the moment for the job, I think he fits all the criteria, especially being a South African and he understands the way forward.

"So hopefully he'll be allowed the support that he needs going forward, the backing that he needs. And hopefully the whole of South Africa will get behind him and his whole management staff and give us some pride in our rugby."

Habana says that his record speaks for itself.

"At times it is difficult watching the press conference, he has a lot of grey hair already, so I don't think he'll get too much more in the next four-year tenure. But I think as a character, he's one of the most enjoyable I've worked with as a coach in 2007 when we went on to win the world cup. I really enjoyed that.

"And I think at the Stormers there's been a lot of critique not playing an expensive brand of rugby but there were one of the leading teams in Super Rugby in the last couple of years."

He says that there was simply no better candidate.

"And for me Allister's CV and what he has achieved over the last 15 years in rugby has been really fantastic. I obviously worked with him in the lead up to 2007 world cup and then again in Cape Town.

"I think his credentials and CV, his understanding of South African rugby and all the factors that involved in that is pretty crucial in terms of him being appointed."


Meanwhile, Habana says that he remains available for Springbok selection should Coetzee want to include him in his plans going forward.

The Springbok record try-scorer won't be selected for the June tests against Ireland as he is in contention for the Springboks Sevens team going to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Habana says that he's not calling time on his Bok career just yet.

"So I'm not calling it quits at the moment and hopefully I'll be able to produce a level of rugby that warrants selection, and if Allister finds it fit to select me I'll definitely be grabbing that opportunity with both hands."

He says that he knows that he still needs to perform week in and out to be considered for selection.

"My effort is 117 all out, I'm definitely not going to complain. I've had fantastic career and through the highs and the lows, every step I wouldn't change one bit.

"But obviously I definitely think I can contribute and play a part, not in playing but hopefully in mentoring, laying down a mark of what it means to be part of the team."