Matfield insists Bronze final matters

Date published: October 25 2015

Springboks lock Victor Matfield has said that the squad will prepare for the Bronze Final with the same level of dedication as any Test match.

The two-time champions were knocked out by New Zealand in Saturday's semi-final at Twickenham.

Friday's match is likely to be Matfield's last in a Springbok shirt after having won 126 caps already since his debut in 2001.

“It is never a meaningless game when you pull on the Springbok jersey," Matfield said.

"We will have a good couple of practice sessions these next two days.

"For one or two guys it is their last match in the Springbok jersey and we want to make it special for them. We want to make people fear the Springbok jersey again.”

Matfield might be bowing out but in many ways he passed on the baton to his successor Lood de Jager, who has impressed in the tournament so far.

“We have great young players here. It is a very young squad with five or so experienced guys," he added. 

"There is so much talent and I think Heyneke (Meyer) would love to keep working with these guys.”

In the end Matfield has missed out on a second World Cup title but he took heart from how South Africa responded to their shock opening loss to Japan.

“It started with Japan with one of the darkest weeks ever," Matfield explained.

"The next week was one of the best weeks to be involved in as Heyneke pulled Schalk (Burger) and Fourie (Du Preez) and the guys in behind him. We almost went from down in the dumps to something really special.”