Bryan Habana: 'Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger are greatest ever Springboks'

South Africa's wing Bryan Habana waves before a Pool B match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Japan at the Brighton community stadium in Brighton, south east England on September 19, 2015
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South Africa winger Bryan Habana pays tribute to retiring pair Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger, proclaiming them the two greatest Springboks of all time.

South Africa winger Bryan Habana has told Sports Mole that he believes Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger are the two greatest players to have ever featured for the Springboks.

Both players retired from international rugby after Friday night's bronze-medal match against Argentina, with Matfield having initially hung his boots up in 2011 only to reverse his decision last year.

The 38-year-old ends his career as the most-capped South African of all time with 127 appearances, while Burger turned out 86 times for his country and was named the IRB Player of the Year in 2004.

Habana, himself one of the most successful Springboks of all time and a fellow 2007 World Cup winner, had nothing but praise for the retiring pair having clinched a bronze medal at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

"Unbelievable. The word 'legend' probably describes them both. I'm really grateful to have walked a long way with them both," he told Sports Mole.

"For both of them, the people they have become both on and off the field have been really impressive. They are two guys who I have the utmost respect for, two guys who will definitely go down in my books as the two greatest to have ever worn the Springbok jersey.

"It's been a massive privilege and honour to have played a big part of my career alongside them."

Habana missed the chance to become the standalone leading try-scorer in World Cup history on Friday, ending the tournament level with Jonah Lomu on 15.

Head coach Heyneke Meyer looks on during a South African Springboks training session at Hale School on September 2, 2014
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