Habana eyes move to France

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Habana_Loftus1 REUTERS South Africa's Bryan Habana scores a try against Australia.

Cape Town – Springbok and Stormers star Bryan Habana is considering a move to play rugby in France or Japan some time next year.

French rugby website rugbyrama.fr reported this week that Habana had apparently met Toulon boss Bernard Laporte in London last week before the weekend’s Test between the Springboks and England, and that a deal was “very close”. Habana, who is nursing a knee injury at the moment, was in the English capital on a sponsor’s invite.

The 29-year-old wing, who was named as the SA Rugby Player of the Year earlier this month, is also understood to be weighing up offers from Japanese clubs.

Habana may want a fresh challenge overseas following the end of next year’s Super Rugby and Test season, before returning to South Africa in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

A statement issued by his publicist, Trevor Crighton, said Habana did not want to comment on whether he had met Laporte, but said he would speak to “all parties concerned if anything changes” before the end of his Western Province contract.

“As things stand, my contract with WP runs until October 2014. If anything changes before then, I will discuss my options with all parties concerned,” Habana said.

“I’ve always represented my province and my country with pride, and remain committed to the Springboks.”

WP Rugby managing director Rob Wagner said that Habana’s link to Toulon “is news to me”.

“Bryan does not have an exit clause that will allow him to play Super Rugby for us and then play somewhere else for the rest of the season.” – Cape Argus


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