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Habana voted top South African player



Springboks's player of the year ...  Bryan Habana.

Springboks's player of the year ... Bryan Habana. Photo: AP

CAPE TOWN: Springbok wing Bryan Habana was named South African Rugby Player of the Year at a ceremony here on Thursday as he became only the second star ever to win the award more than twice.

The 29-year-old, hampered by an injured knee, limped onto the stage with the help of crutches to accept the award for the third time after having also been voted number one by the rugby media in 2005 and 2007.

His striking form helped his team, the Cape Town-based Western Province, win the Currie Cup last Saturday, while his seven tries for the national side in 2012 bring his national record tally to 47.

Habana's hat-trick against Australia in Pretoria in September brought the home team a 31-8 victory in the Rugby Championship.

He also was recognised for Try of the Year after bursting past the All Blacks defence to score in Dunedin, also in September.

"It's a very humbling experience," he said, accepting the award after doubt had previously been cast on his performances.

"I never really doubted myself but when these questions come about you just have to work harder," he added.

"Hopefully I'll leave the jersey in a better place than I received it."

Habana's three Player of the Year awards are second only to former Springbok fly-half Naas Botha. Now a television analyst with the Johannesburg-based SuperSport channel, Botha won the award four times.

Habana, whose first names were inspired by former Manchester United footballers Bryan Robson and Gary Bailey, received the accolade at the awards ceremony in a Cape Town International Airport hangar, five days after helping his side claim the Currie Cup title for the first time in 11 years.

Western Province's Eben Etzebeth, Sharks fly-half Patrick Lambie and teammates JP Pietersen and skipper Keegan Daniel were the other finalists.

The Sharks won the Team of the Year title after reaching both Currie Cup and Super 15 finals, with awards also for captain and loose forward Daniel (Super 15 Player of the Year), Pietersen (Players' Player of the Year) and coach John Plumtree.

New Springbok lock Etzebeth won the poll for Young Player of the Year after the 21-year-old's sterling performance in Tests against New Zealand, Australia, England and Argentina barely 18 months after playing in university leagues.

South African award winners

Player of the Year: Bryan Habana (Western Province)
Players' Player of the Year: JP Pietersen (Sharks)
Super 15 Player of the Year: Keegan Daniel (Sharks)
Currie Cup Player of the Year: Deon Fourie (Western Province)
Young Player of the Year: Eben Etzebeth
Coach of the Year: John Plumtree (Sharks)
Team of the Year: Sharks

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45Leicester City Stadium
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 3 0 3 0 -49 0
Uruguay 2 0 2 0 -107 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Canada 3 0 3 0 -71 1
Romania 2 0 2 0 -61 0
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