Bryan Gary Habana, from Johannesburg, Gauteng, is a former South African rugby union player.
He was named after Bryan Robson and Gary Bailey by his Man United–loving parents and dreamed of being a footballer. Upon experiencing and being inspired by South Africa’s victorious 1995 Rugby World Cup campaign, Bryan’s interests turned to rugby union. He began his professional rugby career signing for the Golden Lions, and he burst onto the international scene against England in 2004, aged 21, scoring a try on his debut with his first touch of the ball. From then on, he established himself as one of the best wings South Africa has ever seen and was a pivotal player in the Springbok setup in his 124 test cap career.
Bryan cemented his place among the sport’s elite with a series of outstanding displays during South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph, his eight tries equaling the record and was named the 2007 IRB Player of the Year.
In his provincial and club career, Bryan played a crucial role in securing titles for the Blue Bulls, Western Province, and Toulon, in France, where he ended his rugby career in 2018. In his 13 years at international level, Bryan was a prolific try scorer, with more tries than any other South Africa player in history and the second most international tries of all time.
Now in the transitional period following his career, he has become somewhat of an entrepreneur, launching a digital sports marketing agency called RetroActive, MatchKit.co, and a Fintech startup called Paymenow, along with some punditry for ITV, Channel 4, and Amazon Prime Video in the UK. Bryan is focusing on making an even bigger success of the next chapter in his life. Bryan is also extremely passionate about his philanthropic and humanitarian work. Not only was he inducted into the Laureus Academy in 2020, but he also launched the Bryan Habana Foundation in 2015, and he continues to play an ongoing roll in giving back where possible.