Bryan Habana waves to fans after the Springboks beat Argentina in the bronze medal match at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in London. Photo: Reuters / Toby Melville

CAPE TOWN – A legend in the truest sense of the word, ambassador, ultimate professional, rugby player par excellence…

Bryan Habana became a world force in rugby with his electric pace down the left wing, his ability to sniff out rare attacking opportunities in a conservative Springbok game plan, his relentless chasing of box-kicks, and his enormous appetite to hunt down opponents in defence.

But a knee injury that required an operation last year has held the Springbok wing back, and he announced on Tuesday that he will end his rugby career at the end of the Toulon season.

The rugby world, and beyond, took to social media to salute the record Springbok try-scorer (67 in 124 Tests)…

JP Pietersen (his long-time wing mate for the Boks)

Congratulations on your outstanding career BH. Im so grateful that I’ve had the privilege of being your teammate and partner over the years. Thanks for all the memories and all the best with the next chapter. You are one of the greats who have played the game #wingcombo

Gio Aplon

It was and will forever be an honor being able to share the same jersey with you...Gentleman,Class and a legend of note on and off the field. #bestevermoderndaySpringbok!!!!!!

Breyton Paulse

I gotta salute Bryan Habana on the most incredible career,a true professional,a champion in life and a outstanding ambassador to the game of rugby,Thank You for the joy you gave to so many fans,Enjoy the next phase

John Smit

Legendary innings my mate, I watched a young boy become a South Africa icon. Congrats brother and good luck!!! What an incredible ambassador you have been for SA, oh yes and thanks for scoring all those tries!!!

Wayde van Niekerk

Wishing @BryanHabana all the best as he tackles his next adventure in life post-rugby. Know you’ll be a success in whatever u do. You’ve been an amazing inspiration on and off the field! Thank you for the memories! Go Well!

Graeme Smith

Jesse Kriel

A childhood Hero who became a team mate and I get to call him my friend ! True professional and example to all , thank you @BryanHabana #BH11 #Legend

Hashim Amla

Faf du Plessis

Come on my friend walk with me you can take of you rugby boots as well.I still have your back after rugby.I salute one of the best in the game and a lifetime friend well done on amazing career @BryanHabana ! LIVING LEGEND

All Blacks

To one of our greatest rivals, we say congratulations for a stunning career. You will be missed by fans across the world. All the best for the next chapter @BryanHabana! #Legend #FlyingBryan

Oupa Mohoje

Willie le Roux

Nigel Owens

Congratulations on a brilliant career. Best wishes for the future. It was always a pleasure to referee you and always difficult to try and keep up with you

Kurt Darren

Well done @BryanHabana you’ve always only been a gentleman to myself and my family, a true Legend in every way. Now go and enjoy some quality time out with your beautiful family Champ.

Quade Cooper

The game is going to miss you brother @BryanHabana .. thank you for the inspiration growing up..…

Maxime Mermoz

It's been a honor and a privilege to have played alongside you @BryanHabana, such a great mate on and out of the field. I wish you the best for the next chapter of your life #Legend

Drew Mitchell

IOL Sport

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter