Ackermann backs Victor return

Johan Ackermann (Gallo Images)
Johan Ackermann (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The oldest man to wear a Springbok jersey in the modern era, Johan Ackermann, has given Victor Matfield's comeback his seal of approval.

Speaking to Die Burger's website, the former Springbok and current Lions coach said "age is relative" and wouldn't be a stumbling block for the former Springbok and Bulls legend.

Six and a half years ago, on July 7, 2007 against the Wallabies, Ackermann, at 37 years and 34 days played his last game for the Springboks and became the oldest player to ever don the Green and Gold.

"Matfield is fit, athletic and his experience will add great value to the Springboks. I believe he is definitely still in Heyneke Meyer's Springbok plans.

"He offers Heyneke security going into next year's World Cup and is an ideal player to fall back on," Ackermann said.

Ackermann said Jake White had called on him in 2007 as a support player, and said he believed Matfield could fill the same role in Meyer's team.

But Ackermann hoped that Matfield's apparent return wouldn't unsettle other contenders in the lock position.

"I think Pieter-Steph du Toit is an unbelievable talent and I was very impressed with the combination formed by Eben Etzebeth and Flip van der Merwe last year."

Ackermann also cautioned that Meyer would have to be careful to avoid a "John Smit/Bismarck du Plessis dilemma", where a more experienced player was favoured over a player in superior form.
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