With Fourie du Preez making a stellar return to the Springbok jersey in last Saturday’s Rugby Championship win over Argentina, and media reports this week suggesting that Jaque Fourie may also be set for a return to the national team, former Springbok captain Victor Matfield hasn’t ruled out his own comeback in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
The 36-year-old Matfield, who retired in 2011 with 110 caps for his country, is currently part of the Bulls coaching team. But writing in his regular rugby column on BMW’s website, in his capacity as a brand ambassador for the Springbok vehicle supplier, Matfield suggested that there is still a possibility he could play for South Africa again.
“With Fourie returning, and Jaque Fourie also getting a lot of media coverage for a possible return, I’ve been asked the same question, particularly with a World Cup just two years away: if the Bok coach asks me to play again, and he thinks I am still good enough, will I accept?”, Matfield wrote in the build-up to this weekend’s return Test in Mendoza.
“If he does – and that’s a big ‘if’ – then it would be a very tough decision.”
The news will delight fans of the lock forward, regarded as one of the finest lineout jumpers of the modern game, and will fuel speculation that national coach Heyneke Meyer, Matfield’s long-time coach at the Bulls, is considering a recall for the veteran forward.
Matfield also used his column to celebrate the return of his good mate Du Preez. “I was pretty nervous for Fourie du Preez’s sake. He is a great friend of mine, and a special player, but after his first few touches, it was clear that he’s even better than I remembered.”
Looking ahead to the second clash with Argentina, Matfield predicts a tougher game, but still expects South Africa to emerge victorious.
“It will be much tougher this week in Argentina, but I believe the Boks will still be too strong. If the Pumas get a good start and the crowd gets behind them, then they will make it difficult for us. But with Heyneke there, and with Jean’s leadership, I don’t think complacency will be an issue. We’ve only played one match; the big games are starting now.”