Will Bryan Habana celebrate another Springbok victory at the Laureus Awards?
BERLIN – Will Bryan Habana experience more joy with the Springboks at the Laureus Sports Awards?
Habana, a Laureus ambassador, jetted into the German capital on Saturday and will be cheering on Siya Kolisi’s Boks, who have been nominated for the Team of the Year award after winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The 36-year-old Habana, who retired with a South African record 67 tries in 124 Tests – just two behind Japan’s Daisuke Ohata’s world mark of 69 – was part of the 2007 Bok side that clinched the Webb Ellis Cup, and who were chosen as the Laureus Team of the Year.
“If you look at someone like Siya – where I was potentially at school worrying about what brand of rugby boot I wanted to wear, what type of movie I wanted to go and watch at the cinema… Siya growing up didn’t have a role model, his parents were missing in action – so to say – and he was worrying about where his next meal was going coming from...” an emotional Habana said in paying tribute to Kolisi at a Laureus event in Tokyo ahead of the World Cup final last year.
“For him to become the first black captain, to wear the same number six jersey that Nelson Mandela wore in 1995, as a South Africa, it’s pretty special.”
The former star wing is also a Laureus ambassador, and is one of a host of sports stars past and present who will land in Berlin over the next few days ahead of Monday night’s function.
Habana was set to attend a Laureus youth programme with two-time Olympic champion German figure skater Katarina Witt later on Saturday.
Ex-Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh was also spotted by Independent Media walking outside his hotel, not too far from the Berlin Wall, which is also in close proximity to the awards venue – the Verti Music Hall at the Mercedes Platz – with the event to be hosted by actor Hugh Grant, after actress Sharon Stone had to withdraw.
I remember watching the Berlin Wall fall, so it's quite surreal seeing it up close. Still unbelievable to think that such a wall existed. And a terrific setting for the @LaureusSport Awards on Monday @IOLsport @IOL #Laureus20 #SportUnitesUs #SportForGood pic.twitter.com/MwAUQoMzGM— Ashfak Mohamed (@ashfakmohamed) February 15, 2020
Bok captain Kolisi, new head coach Jacques Nienaber and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk are set to be in attendance on Monday night, as well as another former Bok skipper, Laureus South Africa chairman Morné du Plessis.
The other SA nominee on Monday is swimmer Natalie du Toit, who has reached the top five of the best sporting moments of the last 20 years, which will celebrate Laureus’ 20th anniversary.
* You can still vote for Natalie du Toit until the end of Sunday, 16 February just before midnight at laureus.com/vote