“I didn’t fear many” – Paul O’Connell names his five toughest opponents - Ruck

“I didn’t fear many” – Paul O’Connell names his five toughest opponents

Ireland, Munster and Lions legend Paul O’Connell has ranked his five toughest opponents from his incredible rugby career.

#1. Victor Matfield

  • Position: Lock
  • Country: South Africa
  • Caps: 127

O’Connell said: “I tried not to fear any opponent, but any international second-row will tell you that Matfield had the ability to destroy your lineout. He’s the best lineout operator I played against. He very rarely made any mistakes.”

Victor Matfield of South Africa wins the ball against Tom Wood of England at the line out – Photo mandatory by-line: Gareth Davies/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No: 768 6958 48 – 15/11/2014 – SPORT – QBE Internationals – RUGBY UNION – England v South Africa – Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London, England

Victor Matfield facts:

  1. Matfield was known for his success at disrupting opposition line-outs – this skill was a cornerstone of their 2007 World Cup success, where he was crowned IRB (International Rugby Board) player of the Rugby World Cup
  2. In 2008 he captained the first team to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand since England in 2003
  3. Matfield initially retired after the 2011 World Cup, leaving the game as the record Springbok cap holder, but returned after a two-year hiatus, signing a two-year playing contract with the Bulls for 2014 and 2015