Springboks legend launches stunning attack on Sam Warburton amid claim he 'couldn't tie Victor Matfield's shoelaces'

-Credit: (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency Ltd)
-Credit: (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency Ltd)

Springboks legend Victor Matfield has launched a stunning tirade towards Sam Warburton, claiming the former Wales and Lions legend "must live in his own world".

It comes after Warburton said on the BBC's Rugby Union Daily podcast back in February that he believed Ireland were the number one team in the world, despite South Africa having won the World Cup for the second time in a row just months before.

And Matfield, a bona fide legend in South Africa with 127 Test caps to his name, took umbrage with Warburton's assessment before sending his sharp-tongued riposte.

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“I don’t think [Warburton] has made a final, no, he hasn’t made a World Cup final. He hasn’t made a semi-final of a World Cup," he told SuperSport's Final Whistle, forgetting Warburton's appearance in the 2011 World Cup semi-final.

"Now, you want to tell everyone that Ireland, who hasn’t made a semi-final in a World Cup, is the best team in the world when South Africa has won back-to-back. He must live in his own world.”

He was joined on the show by former South Africa attack coach and current Lions — the South African team, not the British and Irish variety — coach Swys de Bruin, who was equally as vexed.

“The pundits overseas, they are sensational guys. It’s not about facts. Victor gave the facts,” said De Bruin. “Sam is a great player but he can’t tie Victor’s shoelaces when it comes to experience and say what he wants to say.”

Matfield broke into laughter upon hearing De Bruin's assessment of Warburton, before doubling down on his view on Ireland, even doubting if they were the second-best team in the world after Leinster's URC defeat by the Bulls.

“I am wondering at this stage if Ireland is the second-best team. I don't know if they would be New Zealand," Matfield added.

"Two years ago, before the World Cup, Ireland was really on a high. I mean they (Leinster) come over with 14 of their starters and can’t beat the Bulls.

“They will be a different team. If you put a Bundee (Aki) at 12 that gives them momentum it makes them a different team.”

De Bruin concluded by dissecting Ireland's scrum, saying Andrew Porter was outscrummed by the Springboks' fourth-choice tighthead and that Ireland's locks "don't dominate".

"I would say that Ireland side are three or four (in the world)," De Bruin added.