Rugby World Cup 2011
Matfield best Bok ever - Smit
Victor Matfield (File)
Cape Town - The two most-capped Springboks ever, John Smit and Victor Matfield, bid an emotional farewell to Test rugby after the Boks bowed out of the World Cup with a quarter-final loss to Australia in Wellington.Click to BUY the new Drifta Mobile USB Decoder
According to the SA Rugby website
, Smit called Matfield "the greatest Springbok ever", adding he was "devastated" to be stepping down after seven years as captain.
"I could sit here for an hour speaking about the value and contribution he has made to South Africa," Smit said after the match.
"Today (Sunday), again, colossal in the lineouts, leadership sublime, always making sure the right calls are made, his composure.
"I think the most valuable thing about Victor is how he makes the players around him feel. When he's picked in the side, there's a calmness about him, a composure that he possesses, and hopefully the youngsters will have learned from that and will have taken it forward.
"He's a huge player. In my opinion, the greatest Springbok that's ever been."
Smit will continue his career with English club, Saracens.
Matfield, who is retiring from all rugby and played 110 Tests for South Africa, said: "I think I'm going to miss it. I love this game. It has been my life over the last 12 years, so it's going to be tough."