South Africa

Meyer to lure Matfield back?

Thu, 26 Jan 2012 00:00

Former Bulls and Springbok captain Victor Matfield could come out of retirement, but only if Heyneke Meyer is unveiled as the new Springbok coach on Friday.

The star lock retired at the end of last year after an illustrious career with the Bulls and Boks, but - according to the Pretoria News - said he would consider a return to the field if Meyer called on him to do so.

"Everyone knows what I think about Heyneke, but we must wait until Friday before we talk about it," the former lock told the newspaper.

"Let's wait and see what happens, we will see, we will talk. Everything has consequences. Playing, I don't know... but we will see. It depends if he wants me. I really don't know, it is difficult to say," Matfield said.

However, the likelihood of Matfield lacing his boots in a Bok jersey again are slim, as the legendary lock tweeted on Thursday morning: "Like I've always said. Don't believe everything you read in the paper."

Matfield, 34, is certain to feature in Meyer's management structure in the Springbok team if he is not asked to return as a player - probably as a technical adviser or a line-out consultant, a role he currently holds at the Bulls.

Matfield, who is the second most capped Springbok with 110 caps (behind John Smit 111), captained the Bulls to a Super Rugby and Currie Cup title under Meyer's mentorship.

A return to rugby by Matfield could likely also lure the likes of Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha and Gurthrö Steenkamp back into the national team after their departures overseas to Japan (Du Preez) and France (Botha and Steenkamp).

If Matfield is to return under Meyer, it would probably be for a season or two just for Meyer to get to grips with the structure at national level and it would also solve the next big dilemma of who the next Springbok captain will be.

The Blue Bulls Company said on Wednesday that the SA Rugby Union had approached them to secure the services of Meyer, the Executive for Rugby at the Pretoria-based union.

Talks between the two parties were to have taken place in Cape Town on Wednesday.

SAPA

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