Rassie Erasmus has put SA rugby in a good place‚ says Habana

Bryan Habana in the streets of Cape Town showing appreciation for the Springboks during their victory parade on November 11, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Bryan Habana in the streets of Cape Town showing appreciation for the Springboks during their victory parade on November 11, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

Bryan Habana says it will be critical for the Springboks to continue with their newly-found culture of continuity in the aftermath of the country's third Rugby World Cup success.

The 2007 Rugby World Cup winner‚ who is a MasterCard ambassador‚ said the national team has the right blocks in place to build on their success‚ something that wasn't quite the case with the 1995 and 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning teams.

Habana‚ who was speaking at a Hero Awards ceremony at Magalieskruin Primary School‚ said the Boks will for a change keep their intellectual knowledge post a successful World Cup.

“It's a difficult question and one that I'm not educated enough to answer.

"(Coach) Rassie (Erasmus)did galvanise his coaching staff in a way that everyone understood their roles and responsibilities in taking the team forward.

"You'd hope that the powers that be who'll be making the coaching decision make one that's for the good of the game‚” Habana said.

“Should it come from Rassie's team‚ I don't remember any of them being head coaches. From a CV perspective‚ it's difficult to know what qualifies one to be a coach.

"South African rugby though is in a good place with Rassie taking over as director of rugby. It's far different from when Jake White won the World Cup and was let go.

"There's been reruns of losing critical knowledge but with Rassie in charge‚ the knowledge is there and whoever moves in can pick up where Rassie has left off.”

SA's next big assignment is the 2021 British and Irish Lions Series.

Habana shrewdly noted that the Springboks always face the British and Irish Lions after a successful World Cup annexation.

Habana‚ who was part of the 2009 winning-team‚ said the Northern Hemisphere tourists will have more than just one point to prove after the Home Nations disappointed at the World Cup in Japan.

“Every time the Lions have been in SA in the professional era‚ we've been World Champions.

"With SA again World Champs‚ it adds an extra element and Warren Gatland wants to become the first British and Irish Lions coach not to have lost a series‚ having drawn against New Zealand and beaten Australia‚” Habana said.

“Whoever is coach and captain of the Boks leading into that series will know we're the holders and won't want to lose.

"The northern hemisphere teams showed a lot of power in the World Cup as compared to the 2015 World Cup‚ and England were deserving finalists.

"It adds to the spice of the series‚ but there's a lot of water that needs to go under the bridge before 2021.”

Habana also felt that SA will be great‚ if not in better shape to tackle the British and Irish Lions threat.

“This Bok group has been exceptional‚ it's different and with what they've achieved‚ they'll be able to move forward to the 2021 British and Irish Lions series with a strong core of players.

"There's some phenomenal players that have committed to SA Rugby‚ which is great because I hope that'll form the backbone of the team that could be comparable to the 2007 Cup-winning team that went on to have an exceptional 2009‚” Habana said.

“It created a strong succession plan and that is something Rassie has in place for the players who are going overseas.

"These players‚ though‚ have created their own legacy.”