Habana hoping victory will unite nation

Date published: October 23 2015

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Bryan Habana believes a win on Saturday over New Zealand in their titanic semi-final clash could unite South Africa once again.

South Africa has experienced country-wide student protests since Tuesday, with the ghost of the nation's apartheid past once again rearing its head.

Habana revealed that he also draws inspiration from the iconic moment between World Cup winning captain Francois Pienaar and then-President Nelson Mandela.

"That iconic moment of the late Nelson Mandela giving Francois Pienaar that trophy back in 1995, that was a watershed moment not only for myself and a lot of players, but for our country," said the Toulon winger.

"So going out there on Saturday we'd like just to inspire, to give back and to hopefully unite a nation that so dearly needs it at the moment."

Meanwhile, the 32-year-old is on the eve of breaking Jonah Lomu’s all-time try scoring record at World Cups. However, he still has massive respect for the former All Black.

Lomu ran in 15 tries during his career at rugby’s showpiece, Habana equalled that record with a hat-trick of tries against a hapless USA team in the pool stages.

"For me he is an inspiration," said Habana of Lomu.

“In 1995, for me in that World Cup to see a guy like Jonah Lomu demolish England, he went on to become a global superstar. I will never forget. I was there targeting signatures.

"Records are always nice to achieve but the most important thing for me, throughout my career, has been making a contribution to my side.

"It's so humbling I've been able to do something with my God-given talent, to do something I love and to do it with teammates you have formed a special bond with and to do it for a country where rugby gives us so much back, it is a massive privilege."

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