/ Rugby

South African ace Bryan Habana agrees three-year Toulon deal

Updated: Friday, 11 Jan 2013 11:31 | Comments

Bryan Habana has become a Toulon player
Bryan Habana has become a Toulon player

Wealthy French club Toulon have signed South Africa star Bryan Habana on a three-year deal.

The Cape Town-based Stormers, wing Habana's Super Rugby franchise, announced on their official website today that he will link up with Toulon at the end of this year's Super Rugby season.

Habana, who has won 83 caps for the Springboks, is his country's leading Test match try-scorer.

And he will join a star-studded squad that includes the likes of his former Springboks team-mate Bakkies Botha, Jonny Wilkinson, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Carl Hayman.

"I would like to thank everyone at Western Province for their support throughout my stay in Cape Town," Habana told the website today.

"I've had three great seasons in the Cape thus far, and I am looking forward to finishing off on a high before taking on a new challenge overseas."

Habana, 29, underlined that he would still be available to play international rugby after moving to Toulon.

"Playing for the Boks is a huge part of my life and I would never turn my back on my country," he added.

"I will never stop giving 100% on the field for any team I play for, and if the Springbok coach picks me, I will be there.

"It's a wrench to leave my home, even if only for a short while, but the chance to test myself against different opposition in a new environment was difficult to turn down.

"Rugby Club Toulonnais has an incredible pedigree and some phenomenal players, and working with everyone there is going to help me improve my game."

Habana is currently recovering from a knee injury, and he said: "The rehabilitation has gone well and I haven't experienced any complications at all.

"We are back at pre-season training now, and I am looking forward to putting in some serious work to get myself back up to speed ahead of the new season."

Toulon are challenging strongly for this season's French league title, and they are also on the verge of qualifying for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

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