100 days out from Rugby World Cup, Bryan Habana dismisses concerns over Springboks' erratic form
Cape Town - Legendary former Springbok wing Bryan Habana on Wednesday dismissed concerns over his country's erratic recent form in Test rugby.
Habana was speaking at an event in Tokyo to mark the 100-day countdown of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, where organisers unveiled a countdown clock and flagged off a domestic trophy tour in which the Webb Ellis Cup will visit all 12 host cities.
The Springboks, under the guidance of Rassie Erasmus, won seven and lost seven Tests in 2018.
"Inconsistency has probably been their biggest foe," Test rugby's second highest try-scorer and a World Cup winner in 2007 admitted. "But if you compare it to the run-in to the 2007 World Cup - we lost 49-0 to Australia a year out and went on to win it. They can definitely be a force to be reckoned with."
Four years ago, Habana was part of the Springboks side which suffered a stunning 34-32 defeat by Japan. He warned there would be no pushovers at this year's World Cup.
"It was probably a one-in-a-million shot that Japan had and they took it," Habana said. "It showed you can't take any game for granted."
Asked to tip a winner, Habana, who turned 36 on Wednesday, kept his counsel.
"If you'd have asked me that question in January, I would have said Ireland were the team to beat," he said.
"New Zealand will potentially go in as favourites but the special thing about this World Cup is that it really is too tight to call."
Legends will be made.
It's 100 days to go to#RWC2019 pic.twitter.com/btpNaTuodq— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) June 12, 2019