Former South African player Bryan Habana is the latest rugby icon to be announced as a Mastercard ambassador for Rugby World Cup 2019.

Habana, part of the South African team that won Rugby World Cup 2007, and one of the top test try scorers of all time, will help bring the tournament to life for Mastercard cardholders and its partners in the lead up to and for the duration of the tournament.

Habana joins Mastercard’s line-up of global ambassadors, namely Dan Carter, Michael Leitch, and Akihito Yamada, as fans start the six-month countdown to Rugby World Cup 2019, which kicks off in Japan on 22 September.

“For me, rugby has been an incredible journey, one where I achieved my dream of representing my country – a country that inspired me to take up the game following South Africa’s Rugby World Cup win in 1995,” says Habana. “I’m really looking forward to working with Mastercard to personally engage fans, deliver priceless surprises and share memorable experiences designed to bring South Africans together over their love of the game.”

To celebrate the partnership with the world’s largest rugby tournament, Mastercard has created a solid strategy in collaboration with its South African customer financial institutions and retail partners to leverage its priceless assets, giving consumers the chance to win specially-curated experiences including Captains Runs, and hospitality with the Mastercard ambassadors.

“Rugby is a passion that transcends geographic and demographic boundaries, making the Rugby World Cup the perfect platform to engage, connect and inspire consumers in South Africa, and across the world,” says Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard. “As a proud partner to Rugby World Cup 2019, we look forward to Start Something Priceless in South Africa, working with our ambassadors to make this year’s tournament even more memorable.”

Mastercard is the Preferred Card and Digital Wallet partner of Rugby World Cup 2019.