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Matfield: We had very special players

Friday marks the 10th anniversary of South Africa's second world title, where South Africa famously beat England 15-6 at the Stade de France in Paris.

The Springboks celebrate victory in the 2007 Rugby World Cup final. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Victor Matfield has described the Springbok Class of 2007 as one of the best in history.

Friday marks the 10th anniversary of South Africa's second world title, where South Africa famously beat England 15-6 at the Stade de France in Paris.

Matfield, who was named man of the match in the final, paid tribute to his teammates, saying that the nation was blessed with a unique group: “We had been together for a long time. Had a lot of leadership and experience and the group came together nicely. Bakkies Botha played 80 games, John Smit, Bryana Habana and myself, all over 100 caps, and a guy like Fourie Du Preez, probably the best scrumhalf ever to play. We had some special players.”

The veteran says that the World Cup victory was a culmination of years of hard work: “I remember the first meeting we had after the 2003 World Cup with Jake and on the board was written 2007 Champions. It was a long journey, we became a family, even our kids became close. It was amazing time and the World Cup just put the cherry on top.”

The lock says the Boks had a very different approach to the final against England: “The final was different to the first game where we wanted to come out show people what we could do. The final was all about winning. We were in control and I had four guys around me in the lineouts that understood me so well. We stole about five lineouts in the game.”

Matfield says that after their semi-final win over Argentina, the team felt like nothing could stop them: “We had the feeling that it was in our hands. We should win the World Cup with New Zealand and Australia out. We were confident going into the final and knew we could win.”

WATCH: #RWC10: Boks remember second World Cup win

For more information, you can visit ewn.co.za

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