Vodacom Bulls legend Victor Matfield is the only one South African to get the nod for NZ Rugby World’s ultimate Vodacom Super Rugby XV.
NZ Rugby World, a respected Kiwi publication, compiled a starting XV comprising of players who featured in the premier south hemisphere competition between 1996 and 2019.
Springbok and Vodacom Bulls legend Victor Matfield is the only South Africa who made the list and received high praise from the NZ Rugby World magazine team, who wrote:
‘Won three titles with the Bulls and probably won every lineout ball thrown at him. Was a prolific stealer of opposition ball too and a colossal presence in a colossal Bulls pack that was impossible to stop between 2007 and 2010. Gave the Bulls the touch of finesses and cerebral input they needed.’
There are nine New Zealand players in the composite team, four Australians and one Fijian.
If South African fans are upset at their favourites getting omitted, it should be noted that legendary All Blacks and Crusaders duo – Dan Carter and Richie McCaw – were also rather bizarrely omitted from the XV.
NZ Rugby World’s Ultimate Super Rugby XV: 15 Christian Cullen (NZ), 14 Chris Latham (AUS), 13 Tana Umaga (NZ), 12 Aaron Mauger (NZ), 11 Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji), 10 Carlos Spencer (NZ), 9 TJ Perenara (NZ), 8 Kieran Read (NZ), 7 George Smith (AUS), 6 Owen Finegan (AUS), 5 Victor Matfield (SA), 4 Brodie Retallick (NZ), 3 Owen Franks (NZ), 2 Jeremy Paul (AUS), 1 Joe Moody (NZ).
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images