Habana promises maximum effort
December 2, 2009
Bryan Habana will be in action once again for the Barbarians on Saturday © Getty Images
Springbok wing Bryan Habana is back in the black and white of the Barbarians and is predicting a tough test for New Zealand against the famous invitational side at Twickenham on Saturday.
Habana made his Barbarians bow in last season's showdown with Australia at Wembley, which the Wallabies won 18-11 after a close 80 minutes, and is expecting a similarly tight affair.
The Baa Baas have a strong squad for the game with Habana joined by fellow Springboks Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez as well as Wallabies Matt Giteau, Rocky Elsom and George Smith.
"We're going to put up as big a contest as we can," said Habana. "I'm not going to say we're going out there to show we can beat the All Blacks, but we've got an amazing pool of talented players so the potential is there to pull out a win.
"It's a bit tough after having seen what they did to France last weekend. South Africa got team of the year but New Zealand are probably playing the best rugby out of all the teams at the moment."
Likely to line up on the opposite wing to Habana is Joe Rokocoko, the All Black wing deemed surplus to requirements for their November Tests after a mixed Tri-Nations. Habana is surprised that there was no place for him given his 45 tries in 60 Tests.
"I'm a little bit surprised," he said. "Joe's been on the international circuit for six-seven years and he's been one of the best performers in the All Black jersey. He's had a good season. He's under a lot of fire at home with some top class wingers coming out of New Zealand.
"I think the coaching staff probably wanted to give the young talent a bit of a run. Someone of Joe's experience, you can't just chuck out the back door, and I know he's going to be banging down the door in the next few months."
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor
Red cards, uncontested scrums, end-of-season wobbles and schoolboy errors - the Monday Maul looks back over the weekend's talking points