Last Updated: 15/05/09 10:02am
His mastery of the line-out, in particular, has led to a multitude of plaudits and acclaim.
He jumps at number four, but it is his organisation at line-out time that really sets him apart. He has the uncanny knack of knowing what to call on his own ball, and is particularly skilled at reading every twitch, trigger movement and call of the opposition. This has led to a catalogue of crucial line-out steals in Tests.
Matfield returned to the Bulls in 2008 (the side he led to the Super 14 title in 2007) after a solitary season at Toulon in France. In the Tri-Nations last year, he captained South Africa to a famous victory against the All Blacks in New Zealand.