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Habana confirms move to French Club Toulon

Bryan Habana has agreed a move to Toulon and could be joined by John Smit

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Article Published: Friday 11 January 2013|

The Stormers have confirmed that Springbok wing Bryan Habana has agreed to join French Top 14 Rugby club Toulon after the 2013 Super Rugby season and he could be joined by former Bok captain John Smit.

Habana has signed a three year deal to move to the south of France starting from the begining of the 2013/14 Top 14 Rugby season.

"I'd like to thank everyone at Western Province for their support throughout my stay in Cape Town," said Habana on announcing his new contract.

"I've had three great seasons in the Cape thus far and I am looking forward to finishing off on a high before taking on a new challenge overseas. Hopefully we can build on the success we experienced last year - this young team has the opportunity to dominate for years to come and I'm proud to be sharing my experience with the next generation of star players."

Western Province Rugby CEO Rob Wagner commented: "As sad as it is knowing that Bryan will be leaving us after this year's Super Rugby season, he does so with our blessing and we would like to thank him for his contribution to the Western Province and Stormers teams over the past three years.

"We would like to wish Bryan and his wife everything of the best for their new chapter abroad, but we also look forward to him giving his all for the Stormers during the 2013 Super Rugby season."

Capped 83 times at Test level for the Springboks - and their all-time leading try-scorer - Habana has made it clear that he is available to continue represent his country, should he be selected. "Playing for the Boks is a huge part of my life and I would never turn my back on my country," he said.

"I'll never stop giving 100% on the field for any team I play for and if the Springbok coach picks me, I'll be there."

Making the move wasn't an easy decision, but Bryan felt that the time was right to seek out a different challenge. "It's a wrench to leave my home, even if only for a short while, but the chance to test myself against different opposition in a new environment was difficult to turn down," he said.

"Rugby Club Toulonnais has an incredible pedigree and some phenomenal players and working with everyone there is going to help me improve my game - and hopefully I can bring something new to the team there as well."

Meanwhile there are strong rumours in France that former Springbok captain and Saracens front rower John Smit has also agreed to join the star studded French outfit who are captained by former Springbok loose forward Joe van Niekerk.

There are already a number of former Springboks in the Toulon team including Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw who will join from Suntory Sungoliath.

Several sources say that Smit has signed for Toulon as a replacement for former French international Sebastien Bruno who is retiring.

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