Matfield's ship has sailed

2013-08-23 10:16
Victor Matfield (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Sport24 readers believe it is too late for Springbok legend Victor Matfield to consider a return to Test rugby.

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 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, prompted speculation when he publicly responded enigmatically to questions over his possible return for the Springboks in his regular rugby column on BMW’s website.

"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? If he does - and that's a big 'if' - then it would be a very tough decision." Matfield wrote, cryptically leaving the question unanswered.

But Sport24 readers have answered the question for Matfield, who hasn't played competitive rugby since his retirement two years ago, who, if he returned to the Springboks, would be 38 and would break the record for the oldest player ever to play for the national team (Johan Ackermann was 37 years).

This is what Sport24 readers had to say:

"Quit while you are ahead."
- Wayne Wasserval

"I am a HUGE Matfield fan, there was no better lock than this man, but Matfield, you are best left to passing on the knowledge to the next generation of youngsters. I admire the hell out of him, prob more so than any other Springbok, but at 36, no way man, he's been out of the game for too long." - Izz Hayes

"What a joke!! why don't we ask Frik du Preez to join him?"
- Watchman

"Mannetjies should also consider a comeback." - Twakkie van Staden

"Don't forget James Small, Francois Pienaar, Andre Joubert, Japie Mulder, Pieter Muller, Chester Williams, Danie Gerber, Naas Botha and the rest of the gang..." - Jaycee Bezuidenhout

"Won't be a wise move. Best option will be to have him as part of coaching team with focus on lineouts. Current players should be developed for 2015, and players are talented enough to produce." - Conrad Janse van Rensburg

"I agree the glory days are over but he could bring essential coaching to the line outs." - Kingsley

"Matfield should definitely NOT make a comeback, but we are not well covered at number 5 lock!" - Skrap Nel

"Had a great playing career but it's over. I don't think he'd be up to provincial level anymore let alone international level." - Gary Doyle

"I think Matfield is getting hopes up way too high, if he did ever get selected then it would mean that HM is really on a crusade to demolish our younger players development. It's crucial that Etzebeth get groomed for RWC, Matfield is way too old and wouldn't keep up with today's pace." - Stephen Trenam

"It won't happen, Matfield is just fantasizing, he's reliving the good old days. I hope he's getting plenty of support during this time of mid-life crises, next he'll die his beard blonde."
- ST

"Big fan of Vic, but please no. Time to move on. Fourie is about 6 years younger so not really the same thing." - Janine N Craig West

"I think if you ask any good ex Springbok if the coach calls you and says do you want to play 9 of the 10 times they will say yes." - Pietskiet Springbok

"Victor, I agree will always be an asset in the coaching role, but a risk on the field. Let's remember him for his greatness, because it would be sad to have to drop him for someone younger with a future." - Robert Reeve

Matfield was one of the greatest Boks ever, but most Sport24 readers feel that ship has sailed. (Gallo Images)

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