Victor Matfield (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Victor Matfield's role at the 2015 Rugby World Cup has not been as prominent as many would have thought.
A hamstring injury ruled him out before the Scotland clash in Pool B, and in that time Lood de Jager and Eben Etzebeth have forged a partnership in the second row that has commanded attention.
The result is that a fit-again Matfield finds himself on the bench for Saturday's semi-final against the All Blacks at Twickenham in what is the only change to coach Heyneke Meyer's match-day 23 as Pieter-Steph du Toit drops out.
READ: RWC 2015 the most entertaining yet
READ: Boks v All Blacks - 19 stats and facts
But Meyer was full of praise for the 38-year-old at Wednesday's team announcement, complimenting the player's attitude and professionalism.
"Victor is that type of character. When I spoke to him to come back (from retirement in 2014) he said wherever we need him... he just wanted to be part of something special," Meyer said.
"It just shows the character of the team and the character of the man. He said from day one that he’s there to serve and that whatever the team needs... if he’s there to groom the youngsters to help them, or if we need him as an impact... he was happy with that.
"He’s an unbelievable servant of South African and Springbok rugby. I’m proud to have a guy like that."
Meyer added that having a player of Matfield's calibre and experience on the bench, especially against the All Blacks, would stand the Boks in good stead moving into the final stages of Saturday's clash.
"It makes a huge difference to us to have a leader and a guy like that at the end," the coach said.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:00.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein