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'He was a role model for me' - humble Habana pays tribute to his hero Jonah Lomu

Springboks winger Bryan Habana paid tribute to the great Jonah Lomu after his equalling his Rugby World Cup try-scoring record today.

Jonah Lomu and Bryan Habana tied on 15 RWC tries Source: Associated Press

Habana’s hat-trick of tries in South Africa’s 64-0 win over the USA today brought him level with Lomu on 15 World Cup tries.

While Habana could break Lomu’s record in the World Cup quarter-finals next weekend, there is little doubt the famous All Blacks winger will always be remembered as one of the greats and the humble South African knows it .

"Truly humbled and privileged to have equalled the legend @JONAHATALILOMU’s @RugbyWorldCup record," Habana wrote on Facebook.

"I personally don’t think I can be equated to a player that changed the game in the most commanding way ever and became rugby’s first true global superstar in my opinion.

"Jonah’s all round play, try scoring ability, power physicality and dominance in the game were truly exceptional.

"He was a hero and a role model for me growing up but an unbelievable professional and immensely humble both on and off the field and I have the outmost respect for him."

For the record, it took Lomu 11 World Cup matches to score 15 tries. It took Habana 15.

Habana has played in three Rugby World Cup tournaments (2007, 2011, 2015). Lomu played in just 2 (1995, 1999).

And Lomu scored 12 of his 15 tries against tier one nations. Habana scored just three.