Habana excited by new Toulon challenge

Toulon’s new headline recruit, South African winger Bryan Habana says that he is excited about joining the Heineken Cup champions on a two year deal.

The 2007 world champion could make his first appearance for the Top 14 side as early as Friday in a pre-season friendly against Bordeaux-Begles.

At his official unveiling the holder of the Springboks try scoring record of 50, said: “Toulon is a new challenge, a new environment, it’s exciting.”

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal added: “He may start for us earlier than expected, it’s possible he could put on the shirt on Friday evening.”

The 30-year-old Habana’s move to Toulon was thrashed out back in January when he was playing with Cape Town side Stormers, with Boudjellal relieved to have finally got his man.

“Each year I tested out the water with his agents,” the comic book publisher revealed.

“I remember meeting his father back in the days when we were in the second division (2008).

“We then tried to get him to sign for us with Philippe Saint-Andre (Toulon manager between 2009-2011).

“This year, it all panned out naturally – he’s arrived at a moment in his career when he wanted to discover something new and join his friends, like (South African lock Bakkies Botha) where he wants to really achieve something.”

Habana will also be linking up with fellow forwards Danie Rossouw and Joe Van Niekerk at the southern-based club which lost last season’s French championship final against Castres.

He is set to be presented to the home fans on Thursday alongside All Black lock Ali Williams who also won the World Cup in 2011 and has appeared 77 times for New Zealand.

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