COSABI President Ben Foden paid tribute to the late Alain Habana on Thursday, praising the legendary Bok great for his “valiant fight” and efforts to “exert the mark of the great Bok in the south African rugby community.” Habana, who died on Wednesday, was the all-time leading scorer in rugby union, scoring 1,185 points, in an over-18s career and playing in two Rugby World Cups with South Africa. The 32-year-old, who was suffering from prostate cancer, was 33 when he announced he would retire in December. He was the first to take the knee, and that symbolized the tensions over the running of a sport that people had always regarded as the ultimate law of lawlessness. That it was Habana who single-handedly prevented the game from morphing into a killing field during the 2011 World Cup is also a remarkable milestone in the quest for equality in South African rugby. “Buba’s willingness to take a knee following a tackle from a rival player with a history of punching him was a great example to all South Africans. He was a true leader and symbol of South African rugby and his fight for fairness and justice will live on forever.”
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Former South Africa legend marks 15 years in charge with a heartfelt speech