Matfield: 15s can learn from Sevens party
Former Springbok Victor Matfield is the latest in a long-line of Rugby stars to give their backing to Rugby Sevens.
Matfield witnessed an enthralling weekend of action at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, which culminated in Samoa winning the second round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
With the likes of Canada and Portugal reaching the Cup quarters, and Kenya the Cups semis, the Rugby World Cup winner believes that is the essence of Sevens.
"I must say it is fantastic. It is my first time at a Sevens tournament, and it is just unbelievable.
"That is what so nice though, the countries who don't really play 15-a-side can really compete. Portugal beat South Africa and England on day one. It is a fantastic tool for Rugby."
Having been capped 124 times for South Africa, the lock joked that he would not have been fast enough to play Sevens, but admitted that the 15-a-side game could learn from the shorter format.
"There is so much entertainment for everyone and I think the 15-man code can learn from these guys who put on a party. I think if you can get Test matches like this then it would be just unbelievable.
"Rugby is about entertainment, and this is what it is. If you can have a whole day like this, a party like this, it would be unbelievable."
MORE REACTION FROM Dubai:
Ben Ryan, England coach, Shield winners: "It was the Shield, so can hardly regard it as a final. That is an understatement. It has been doom and gloom I have to say but we have blooded some youngsters. Luck will turn for us, as will the tide, and we will start to win. When we do we will use this as even more energy."
Mike Friday, Kenya coach, on Kenya reaching a first-ever second successive Cup semi final: "You never get used to them, you can never have enough of them. I have to take my hat off to the boys, five minutes we defended in our 22 and four times we held them [Canada] up on the line. That is testament to their belief and their desire and also their appreciation to believe in the systems that are there and go out and execute one on one."
Jean Baptiste Gobelet, France's try scorer in their victory against Fiji: "I don't know what it is. When we arrive in Dubai we feel like Fiji, like New Zealand, we feel unbeatable. I don't know why, but it is like that, Dubai is special for us. It is our objective [to win]. We want to come back and win this year, to show in France that Sevens is not a minority and that we are proud to play for France."
Brett Gosper, IRB CEO, at the Dubai Sevens: "It is the first Sevens tournament I have been to since I started. I heard this was a great tournament - it gives you a good overview of what the good Sevens tournaments are. I have been hugely impressed by the atmosphere, the organization, the number of people. You can not not be impressed."
Michael O'Connor, Australia coach: "We started okay but we just ran out of steam, just mentally between the ears. I made a coaching error on day one, we were 28-14 up against Canada. I emptied my bench with two minutes to go and we drew 28-28 which cost us a spot in the Cup quarters."
Percy Montgomery: "It is my first time in Dubai, it is really fantastic, with the women and Sevens. Sevens is very important for any Rugby player, who is looking to nurture his skills and going forward for an illustrious career."