Habana ready for superstar Savea

Date published: October 20 2015

Bryan Habana believes Julian Savea has improved immensely as a player since breaking onto the international scene ahead of their match-up this weekend.

The Springboks take on New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday in the first World Cup semi-final, with Savea and Habana currently first and second in the try-scoring charts.

The All Black winger moved to eight tries with his hat-trick against France in the quarter-finals, while Habana equalled Jonah Lomu's all-time World Cup try-scoring record in the pool stages.

And Habana knows he's in for a huge challenge against Savea, who overtook Lomu's 37 All Black tries in the last-eight encounter.

"I have complete respect for Julian Savea. He has been playing unbelievable rugby for three seasons now," said Habana.

"When he first got that All Blacks jumper there were doubts about his ability but you can see the way he has come on in leaps and bounds over three years and especially over this tournament.

"There have been comparisons with him and the great Jonah Lomu and if you look at the try-scoring feats, he went past Jonah this weekend as well.

"He is not only physical, not only got unbelievable pace, but has improved his all-round game. The way he works off his wing, his kicking game has improved.

"I put out on social media on Saturday, for him to have equalled my and Jonah's number of tries in one World Cup is incredibly special and due reward for someone who has shown himself a global superstar."