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Habana puts young aces through their pacesBy Adam Lee
December 03, 2008
Wellington College welcomed a superstar of world rugby last week when South Africa wing Bryan Habana held a coaching masterclass in association with equipment manufacturer Canterbury.
Sixth form pupils from schools across the country travelled to Wellington for a morning-long session with the player.
Habana is one of the best known faces in world rugby, and his eight tries at the 2007 World Cup in France escalated him to superstar level.
It is Habana’s speed, however, that makes him such a formidable opponent.
He has been clocked running the 100m in 10.2 seconds, while he also famously raced against a cheetah in a charity stunt back in April 2007.
Habana, 25, put the young rugby aces through their paces with a series of drills, overseen by a number of coaches, and even challenged a couple of the pupils to a race.
However, a slip by Habana on the greasy Wellington turf meant that he couldn’t show off that world-renowned electric pace as he would have hoped.
However, the Springbok legend was delighted to spend some quality time with the pupils, and insists if the skills they displayed are anything to go by, the future of English Rugby Union is in safe hands.
“It’s really great to have schools from all around the country sending pupils out to learn and participate and hopefully grow as rugby players and people,” said Habana.
“Hopefully by me being here I am able to share experiences with the youngsters – being able to give back is one of the greatest gifts.
“Just to be there and tell them to keep dreaming and work hard, hopefully what these kids today have learned might inspire them and we might see some of them competing in English Rugby Union in a few years time.
“From a personal point of view, being able to come here and give back to these kids is very important for me as a rugby player and I’ve been blessed and priviliged with what this game has given me in the last six or seven years.
“Kids have heroes and maybe I can inspire them to become rugby players of the future and better people as a result of it.
“To be able to come out here and see the energy that these kids have is absolutely amazing.
“When you’ve been travelling on the international rugby circuit for so long you sometimes look back at things like this and it gives you renewed energy to go out there and enjoy every minute you’ve got because you’re not sure how much longer you have left yourself.
“The energy that these guys have you can draw from and it keeps you going and to see the way that they smile and the shine in their eyes makes what you do worthwhile.
“There’s been some amazing talent, we had a racing contest earlier and the skill of some of these guys is really good.
“By fine tuning their basics they can only become better rugby players.
“The future and talent, looking at the kids here today, is much better than I was expecting.”