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Habana voted top South African player

Date

Rugby

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

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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