Get to know Victor Matfield, the former South African rugby player

Get to know Victor Matfield, the former South African rugby player

Helix Odhiambo
February 18, 2024 at 6:03 AM

Victor Matfield is a former South African rugby star and the most capped player in the national team, the Springbok. He is also one of the best locks in the game's history and has enjoyed longevity and unparalleled success in his professional career.

South Africa's Victor Matfield
Former South African rugby lock Victor Matfield had a fantastic career with the Springbok. Photo: David Rogers, Laurence Griffiths (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

The Springbok legend played rugby and cricket while growing up. He chose the former and established himself among the best. His ability to disrupt the opposition's line-outs made him stand out. Matfield also captained the national team to iconic victories. This article breaks down his early life, career, and net worth, including why he left cricket and what he is doing now.

Victor Matfield's profile summary

Full name

Victor Matfield

Date of birth

11 May 1977


46 (as of February 2024)

Place of birth

Polokwane, South Africa


South African


2.01 m (6' 7")


110 kg (240 lbs)


University of Pretoria


Former rugby player, coach


Hettie and Fai Matfield


Monja Bekker


Jaime, Tassie, Giselle

Net worth

$1 million

Social media

Instagram, Facebook, X (Twitter)

Victor Matfield's biography

Springbok's legend Victor Matfield (age 46 as of February 2024) was born and raised in Pietersburg (now Polokwane), South Africa. He lived with his parents, Hettie and Fai, who were teachers.

Facts about Victor Matfield
Victor Matfield during the Northampton Saints training session on 15 December 2015 in Northampton. Photo: David Rogers
Source: Original

Victor's parents inspired and supported him to pursue his sports dreams. In his interview published by by the GOM magazine in 2014, the rugby icon revealed his father used to coach rugby and cricket, and he would often accompany him to learn some techniques.

"I was actually privileged because by the time I went to primary school, I had already mastered the basic techniques of rugby and cricket," Victor said in his interview.

Victor Matfield's height is 2.10 m (6' 7'') and weighs 110 kg (240 lbs). He studied accounting at the University of Pretoria but opted for rugby, a career that made him a national hero and a global icon.

Victor Matfield's stats and career

The South African legend played rugby and cricket during his early life. He even represented the Far North province in cricket. However, Victor Matfield's cricket career ended early after suffering an injury that affected his batting and bowling. He quit the sport to focus on rugby.

Early career

Victor played for the rugby teams of Far North School in his junior and senior levels. He also played for Pietersburg High School, then moved to the University of Pretoria for further studies, representing their U21 side. He later joined the Blue Bulls U21 side, which paved his way into South Africa's U21 national team in 1997 and 1998.

Club career

Victor Matfield and John Smit
Victor Matfield (C) of the Bulls runs with the ball past John Smit of the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on 1 May 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo: Lee Warren
Source: Getty Images

The 6ft 7in legend launched his professional career with the Blue Bulls in 1998. He represented the club in the Vodacom Cup and signed with Griquas in 1999. Matfield played for Griquas in the Vodacom Cup and the Currie Cup tournaments.

Victor also played for the Cats in 1999, representing them in the Super Rugby. He returned to the Blue Pills in 2001, helping them win three Currie Cups (2002, 2003 and 2004). The former lock also enjoyed a spell outside South Africa, playing for Toulon and Northampton Saints.

International tenure

Matfield achieved commendable success with South Africa's national rugby union team, the Springbok, thanks to his immense talent and leadership skills. His journey began with the U21 and U23 sides before getting promoted to the senior team in 2000.

The rugby icon made his Test debut on 30 June 2001 against Italy in Port Elizabeth. He played his first Rugby World Cup in 2003 and won the 2004 Tri-Nations tournament. The rugby legend captained his nation for the first time in the 2007 Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand in Durban.

Victor Matfield of South Africa
South Africa's Victor Matfield (top) during a game. Photo: Eddy Lemaistre
Source: Getty Images

Victor played over 250 games in his career, winning numerous honours with his teams. He lifted the 2007 Rugby World Cup title with his nation in France, winning the man of the match accolade in their 15-6 triumph over England in the final.

Matfield was also part of the squad that Australia eliminated in the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals in New Zealand. He was inducted into the RugbyPass Hall of Fame in 2021.

How old was Victor Matfield when he retired?

The Springbok legend retired in 2011 after the Rugby World Cup at 34. He returned in 2014 to represent his nation in the 2015 World Cup in England. Unfortunately, South Africa bowed out of the semi-finals following a defeat to New Zealand.

Matfield retired after the tournament for the second and last time, finishing as his country's most-capped player with 127 caps.

What is Victor Matfield doing now?

Victor Matfield, Jean De Villiers, and Schalk Burger
Victor Matfield (L), Jean De Villiers (C), and Schalk Burger (R) at Opera Garnier for the World Rugby Awards on 29 October 2023 in Paris, France. Photo: World Rugby
Source: Getty Images

The legendary lock teamed up with former Springbok assistant Eddie Jones in February 2024 as a consultant to the Japan national team. He previously coached Vodacom Bulls and Lions.

"It's nice to get involved on an international level and work with Eddie," Matfield said. "I will fly to Japan twice to be involved in the Japanese camp there for two weeks before tests. I will also do weekly analysis of the other teams for them and forward plans."

Interesting facts about Matfield

Victor Matfield holding the International Test match trophy
Victor Matfield of South Africa with the International Test match trophy after beating Argentina at José Amalfitani Stadium on 15 August 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Gabriel Rossi
Source: Getty Images

The 2007 Rugby World Cup winner ended his 21-year career as one of the best locks ever to play the game. After retiring, he ventured into business, managing Wildswinkel Holdings. Victor was also a commentator and analyst for Supersport. Here are other facts about him.

How many Test matches did Victor Matfield play?

Matfield played 127 Test games for the Springboks between 2001 and 2015. He is the most-capped player in the team's history.

Did Victor Matfield play cricket?

The Polokwane native played rugby and cricket during his early years. However, an injury forced him to quit cricket for rugby.

What number was Victor Matfield?

Matfield wore jersey No.5 during his tenure with the Springbok. He started his career wearing No.4 before switching to the iconic jersey.

Victor Matfield's net worth

According to several sources, the former lock's net worth ranges between $1 million to $5 million. Victor earned most of the wealth from his rugby career.

Is Victor Matfield married?

Victor Matfield and family
Victor Matfield and his wife Monja Bekker (L) at an event. On the right is the couple with their three daughters. Photo: Dave Rogers, @victormatfield (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The Springbok's legend married his partner Monja Matfield in December 2003 and recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. Victor Matfield's wife prefers a private lifestyle and avoids social media. The couple has four children: Luco, Jammie, Tassie, and Giselle.

Victor Matfield's daughter Jammie celebrated her 18th birthday in style after receiving a car as a present from his father. She is the eldest, born on 1 January 2006.

Where does Victor Matfield live?

The rugby legend lives in South Africa with his family. He reportedly has a home there, but its location remains undisclosed.

Social media

Victor has 120k followers on Instagram and 11k on Facebook as of February 2024. He is also active on X (Twitter) with 341k followers.

Final word

Victor Matfield's talent and leadership skills increased his reputation as one of the finest locks in rugby. He is an inspiration and mentor to many who look up to him. Besides his career, Matfield is a caring husband and father who often spends time with his family.

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Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.