Newsdeck, Sport

Habana: No excuses for Springboks

By Reuters Sportsdesk 5 June 2012

South Africa will not use their lack of preparation time as an excuse before their three-test home series against England, wing Bryan Habana said on Tuesday. By Jason Humphries (Reuters)

Habana, with 74 test caps to his name, is the most experienced player in the 32-man Springbok squad. His knowledge will be vital for a South Africa team who have had only five days to prepare for the first test against England in Durban on Saturday.
“The one thing we have decided as a group is that there are going to be no excuses whether we have enough time or not,” Habana told reporters.
“(Coach) Heyneke Meyer’s main message to us for the next four years is that we want to become the best team in the world and we can’t afford to see anything as an excuse.”
Meyer has named nine uncapped players in his first South Africa squad which will be missing the retired John Smit and Victor Matfield and the injured Schalk Burger and Juan Smith.
“We are all professional enough to understand our roles and responsibilities and we need to make sure that we start this new era with a win,” Habana said.
South Africa have an admirable recent record against England, having won the last seven tests between the two countries while England have not beaten the Springboks in South Africa since 2000.
But Habana said that history would play no part in the first test against a revitalised England team who finished second in this year’s Six Nations under new coach Stuart Lancaster.
“It’s a fantastic record for us to have but we are not going to worry about what has happened in the past. We need to set new goals and new standards,” he said.
“This England team under Stuart Lancaster has improved over the last 12 months and they have been good for northern hemisphere rugby. Lancaster has done unbelievably well with a talented group of youngsters and one or two old heads in the team.
“It is probably one of the strongest English sides that has come to South Africa over the last 12 years. This English team is not going to go out there and hand us a win on Saturday. We know it’s going to be tough and we are up for that challenge.” DM

Photo: Bryan Habana (Reuters)

Gallery

Are You A South AfriCAN or a South AfriCAN'T?

Maverick Insider is more than a reader revenue scheme. While not quite a "state of mind", it is a mindset: it's about believing that independent journalism makes a genuine difference to our country and it's about having the will to support that endeavour.

From the #GuptaLeaks into State Capture to the Scorpio exposés into SARS, Daily Maverick investigations have made an enormous impact on South Africa and it's political landscape. As we enter an election year, our mission to Defend Truth has never been more important. A free press is one of the essential lines of defence against election fraud; without it, national polls can turn very nasty, very quickly as we have seen recently in the Congo.

If you would like a practical, tangible way to make a difference in South Africa consider signing up to become a Maverick Insider. You choose how much to contribute and how often (monthly or annually) and in exchange, you will receive a host of awesome benefits. The greatest benefit of all (besides inner peace)? Making a real difference to a country that needs your support.


ANALYSIS

Jeff Bezos and Iqbal Survé, The Amazon and The Amazing Ego

By Ferial Haffajee

Green screens are green because the colour does not match any natural skin tone of an actor.