Tuks has been home to many sporting legends. One such legend is Victor Matfield.

One of South Africa’s greatest rugby players, he began an accounting course at Tuks during his early rugby years.

After playing for Tuks, Matfield went on to achieve rugby success both locally and internationally. He won three Currie Cup and three Super 14 trophies with the Blue Bulls, and two Tri-Nations championships, a series victory over the British and Irish Lions and the 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup with the Springboks.

Perdeby spoke to Matfield about university rugby and being a first year.

How would you describe your years as a student at the University of Pretoria? University was great fun, sometimes a little too much fun. I studied accounting and during my first two years I managed to juggle my studying and rugby commitments. Third year proved to be a yard too far and I did not complete my studies.

Were you in a residence? If so, how did you experience res life? I was in Boekenhout and really enjoyed hostel life. Boekenhout is a proud rugby hostel but I only got to play for the Boekenhout first team once.

What is your fondest memory of your university days? My fondest memory of university was being selected for the Tuks first team. I went on to play for two years.

What do you think of the 2012 Tuks Varsity Cup-winning team? I think they had an unbelievable season. It is pleasing to see that the Blue Bulls and Tuks worked very hard to ensure Varsity Cup success. It is also great that the younger generation of rugby players are showing an interest in studying towards a degree as it is something that is not focused on within rugby.

What are your predictions for the 2013 Varsity Cup? I believe that Tuks can defend their title. The structures that Nollas [Nollis Marais, Tuks 1 Varsity Cup coach] and the rest of the coaching staff have put in place will only do good for the team. Tuks 1 trains with the Bulls in the off-season, which gives the players the opportunity to develop their game.

What advice can you offer the first-year students of 2013? University is one of the most exciting times of a person’s life and I encourage the new students to enjoy their varsity life, but they must also remember that they are here to study and they will need to prioritise their activities.

Photo: Hendro van der Merwe

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