South Africa rugby star Habana aiming to play at Olympics

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) South African rugby great Bryan Habana is in contention to play at the Olympics after being included Wednesday in the national sevens squad for the 2015-16 season.

Rugby sevens is making its debut at next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Habana, who has made 117 test appearances for South Africa's 15-a-side team and is its leading try-scorer, last played international sevens more than a decade ago.

He was picked in the sevens training squad alongside other 15-man Springboks Damian de Allende and Lwazi Mvovo. All three were at the recent Rugby World Cup.

The sevens in Rio is likely to include plenty of big names from rugby's main game, attracted by the rare opportunity to win an Olympic medal. The 15-a-side game was previously on the Olympic program but was last played at the 1924 Games.

Australia international Quade Cooper recently included a clause in his contract with French club Toulon that allows him to play at the Olympics in August.

Habana, who also plays for Toulon, tried to make South Africa's sevens team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games but wasn't released in time from club duties.

At 32, Habana probably won't play in another World Cup. He is tied with New Zealand great Jonah Lomu for the most tries at the World Cup with 15.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.