Rugby: Habana faces questions over late night

By Daniel Gilhooly

BLOEMFONTEIN - Springboks rugby winger Bryan Habana faces a possible reprimand for breaking team protocol in the leadup to yesterday's Tri-Nations rugby defeat of the All Blacks.

A report in Africaan newspaper Rapport said Habana could be disciplined for returning to the team's Bloemfontein hotel at 1am on Saturday (local time) - the morning of the test. The Springboks players are required to get an early night's sleep before any test.

According to Rapport, the matter is likely to be dealt with internally, with the person who claimed to see Habana arriving at the hotel now required to testify at a disciplinary hearing.

Last year halfback Ricky Januarie was suspended for one test for breaking team protocol by attending a braai (barbecue) in the leadup to a home test against Wales and arriving back at the team hotel under the influence of alcohol.

Rapport speculated the same fate could await 26-year-old Habana, who is set to play his 50th test in the second Tri-Nations encounter against the All Blacks in Durban on Sunday morning (NZT).

He is South Africa's second-leading test tryscorer with 33 and was named world player of the year in 2007.


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