South African Rugby
Boks duo ponder Japan switch
ESPNscrum Staff
October 13, 2011
South Africa's Bryan Habana celebrates his opening score of the match, Samoa v South Africa, Rugby World Cup, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand, September 30, 2011
Bryan Habana's future is uncertain © Getty Images

Springboks duo Jaque Fourie and Bryan Habana are both weighing up joining the likes of Mils Muliaina and James Haskell in transferring to Japan.

With Western Province fly-half Peter Grant already committed to joining the Kobe Steelers, it seems the Japanese club are keen on securing another South African international with Habana on their radar. The switch to the Far East has already proved too much of a carrot for some Springboks with Fourie du Preez and Danie Rossouw both opting to ply their trade for Suntory Sungoliath next term.

The news comes after Habana was reportedly turned down by Top 14 side Toulon on account of his wage demands. The 74-cap winger was rumoured to have asked for R21m (£1.7m) over three years while Mourad Boudjellal's Toulon were not prepared to stretch beyond R17m (£1.36m).

Whether Habana decides to stay in Cape Town remains to be seen, but Western Province CEO Rob Wagner confirmed that Fourie had been in discussions with Japanese clubs over a possible move.

"Jaque let us know immediately that a quite a few Japanese clubs spoke to him," Wagner told Sport24. "It is always the case that clubs put their feelers out to big players who have not lengthened their contracts for the next season.

"Jaque let us know that he does not want to make any decision until he has spoken to us and because he had to focus on the World Cup, we did not want to speak to him on the phone every single day."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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