Cape Town - Bulls lock Victor Matfield
says he is now fitter than he was when he last played rugby during the 2011 season.GALLERY: Spot the familiar face at LoftusWIN: Cell C Sharks home Super Rugby tickets!
Matfield, 36, retired after the 2011 Rugby World Cup but made his return for the Bulls in a pre-season game against the Stormers in Polokwane on Saturday.
He played for most of the second half in a game the Bulls lost 26-19.
In an interview with the Rapport newspaper
, Matfield said he was very nervous about returning but said he is in tip-top physical shape.
"It was a very tough decision and there were a lot of factors I had to take into consideration. But my wife and family support my comeback and I'm convinced that I'm still good enough to play for the Boks," said Matfield.
"There are obviously many people out there that want me to fail, but I don't let it affect me. Physically I'm in better shape today than I was in 2011 when I retired. For example, I don't have any pain in my back and knees like back then. I feel first class.
"And I'm as fit as ever. Since my retirement I never stopped training and at the Bulls' practices I give some of the younger guys a run for their money."
Matfield also admitted that Heyneke Meyer
being Bok coach played a big role in his return.
"If I knew Heyneke Meyer
would become Springbok coach then I would never have retired."