Planet Rugby

Cuthbert full of respect for Habana

04th June 2014 19:51

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Wales v France Alex Cuthbert

Test ahead: Alex Cuthbert

Wales winger Alex Cuthbert has talked up his opposite man Bryan Habana ahead of facing the Springboks later this month.

Cuthbert is no stranger to the international scene but regards Habana as a good yardstick when it comes to the best wingers in Test rugby.

Speaking of Habana's influence before he was forced off against the All Blacks at Ellis Park last year, Cuthbert praised his experience and influence on the squad.

"He has to be one of those (wings) at the top," said Cuthbert.

"Think of those tries he scored against New Zealand last season. If he hadn't got injured (in that game), South Africa probably would have won.

"Watching him over the years, he's been a world-class player and has sort of changed the way wingers play in terms of how they get involved in the game.

"It's just the amount of touches he has per game. He doesn't just stay on the wing, he comes in off 10, nine, first receiver, and his kick-chase is probably one of the best in the business as well.

"He still has that influence in the Springboks squad - it shows how important he is to them. He is such a threat from anywhere.

"He has all that experience now. Winning the World Cup and all the other trophies that he has won, he's just about as high up there as any winger can be.

"It's definitely a good yardstick to face him.

"I've played against a lot of other top wingers - (New Zealand's) Julian Savea is probably one of the toughest opponents I have faced - but Habana is going to be right up there. I am looking forward to the challenge, if I am selected."

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