In an interview with France’s Midi Olympique midfielder, South Africa’s exwing recounted an incredible story with then-Toulon coach Bernard Laporte.
In 2015, Toulon reached the final of the European Cup duel that he played against Leinster from Ireland. The match was played at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille.
The Monday after the final, Bryan Habana’s brother was getting married in South Africa. The previous week, the Toulon wing went to ask Laporte and club president Mourad Boudjellal for permission to get tickets and, after the game, travel to their home country to witness the event.
The answer of both was a resounding no. Both Laporte and Boudjellal replied to Havana that the only thing they had to think about was the final against Leinster and that they could not travel. The South African back did not give up and took passage despite the refusal of his superiors.
Sunday in Marseille was not suitable for heart patients. The 80 minutes ended with a tie between Leinster and Toulon. At the start of overtime, the French cast kicked in. And then the moment came when Havana assured its presence in the brother’s marriage.
In the 90th minute, with Leinster attacking in midfield, the always timely and arguably one of the best interceptors in history, Bryan Habana leaked between the pass of two rivals and became unreachable for them. He put the signature to a great try and, although Leinster was going to discount, he sentenced the final in the hands of his team.
After the game, in the middle of the festivities, Habana hugged Laporte and asked him: “Bernard, my brother’s marriage?” The Head Coach’s response was emphatic. Go ahead, if necessary I pay you the plane ticket !. Happy ending for Toulon and especially for the then wing Bryan Habana.