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Victor Matfield tips next Bok star to rival Libbok

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Wednesday Apr 17, 2024

Iconic former Springbok lock Victor Matfield knows that to win the big trophies every team needs a field general in the number ten shirt.

During his run as Vodacom Bulls captain, Matfield played alongside some top quality tens namely Morne Steyn who translated his club form to the test arena.

Prior to Steyn’s elevation as a marksman goal kicker and tactical genius, Matfield played alongside the abrasive Butch James during the Boks run to the 2007 World Cup title.

Thus, he is uniquely placed to discuss the merits of different styles of dominant tens.

Talking yesterday in a media round table organised by the BKT United Rugby Championship, Matfield was asked about budding Stormers star Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

The 22-year-old former Bishops student took the URC by storm earlier this season before injury halted his progress.

Admiring the youngster from afar for quite some time, Matfield was unsurprised that he stepped up so seamlessly to the next level and tipped him to continue his push up the ranks.

“I’m a big fan of Sacha, I think he is the next Springbok flyhalf. I would like to see the Stormers give him a bit more of a chance at flyhalf, not just at inside centre.”

Of course, for the DHL Stormers, they are blessed with an array of talent across the backline with the likes of Springboks Manie Libbok, Damian Willemse and Warrick Gelant.

Thus, finding a position to play Feinberg-Mngomezulu has become a champagne problem for Stormers boss John Dobson.

However Matfield has backed the dynamic playmaker to challenge Libbok for the ten shirt sooner rather than later and feels he is more suited to the rigors of test rugby than his clubmate.

“He is a bit bigger than Manie. I think he can attack the advantage line and kicks well. As a schoolboy, his kicking at the posts was superb. I would like to see the Stormers ask him to take over their goalkicking job.

“Sacha was excellent at U20 level. At junior level, he was in a different class, but at senior level, I haven’t seen much of him in the No 10 jersey.”

Circling back to Libbok directly, Matfield was coy about his dismissing Libbok entirely and reiterated that he liked the player whilst also pointing out that the 26-year-old has had several opportunities already.

“I really like Manie and he has a lot of good qualities, but there is a lot of talk about whether he can take the step up,” Matfield said. “He’s had a few chances.

“Manie is great. But I would like to see Sacha get more opportunities.”

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