European Professional Club Rugby

Springbok Icon Victor Matfield Explains Why Leinster Is On Another Level

Springbok Icon Victor Matfield Explains Why Leinster Is On Another Level

Springbok legend Victor Matfield shares insights on winning rugby's biggest tournaments. Join the conversation on championship strategies.

Apr 16, 2024 by Philip Bendon
Springbok Icon Victor Matfield Explains Why Leinster Is On Another Level

Springbok icon Victor Matfield knows what it takes to win the biggest competitions in the world of rugby.

As a key member of the Springboks' 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning squad and the captain of the Vodacom Bulls team that won Super Rugby, Matfield is clear in his vision of what it takes to win a knockout tournament.

Speaking this morning at a BKT United Rugby Championship round table alongside former Irish international Stephen Ferris, Matfield was asked about what two-time Rugby World Cup-winning coach Jacques Nienaber would bring to Leinster.

“Why did they bring Jacques over? Well, firstly, I think he must be the best defense coach in the world. But then also, he knows how to win semifinals and finals of competitions, he knows how to get through tough games.

“I think we will only see that (his influence) once he gets to semifinals, finals this year. We already have seen last week against La Rochelle, Leinster was just dominating.

“So, I think we will see his value when we get to the semifinals, finals, and if Leinster wins both competitions, then I think everyone will know why they brought Jacques over.”

Having defeated La Rochelle in the quarterfinals, Leinster now will host Gallagher Premiership table topper Northampton in the semifinals at the iconic Croke Park.

A return to Croke Park marks a historic moment for Leinster, which took a major step toward its first Investec Champions Cup title at the same venue in 2009. Facing old rival Munster Rugby, which at the time was defending champion, Leinster went on to down its foe at the ground.

This 2009 victory set up a final clash with Northampton in the final, a match in which the Saints launched a heroic comeback to win their first title.

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