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England tour of South Africa 2012 / News
South African Rugby
Meyer rules out Matfield return
ESPN Staff
May 23, 2012
South African Springbok's vice-captain Victor Matfield speaks at a press conference in Wellington, New Zealand, October 3, 2011
Reports suggested Victor Matfield could make a return to the side © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Victor Matfield | Heyneke Meyer
Tournaments/Tours: England tour
Teams: South Africa

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has ruled out a sensational return to the field for retired lock Victor Matfield.

Matfield was rumoured to be on Meyer's radar as a potential skipper for their three-Test series with England in June, but, speaking to BBC Radio 5, Meyer said that Matfield "will not be back" on the field.

Matfield called time on his rugby career after the previous World Cup and could still be involved in a coaching capacity. In Matfield and Bakkies Botha's place - with the giant lock now turning out for Toulon - one potential second-row pairing could be the experienced Andries Bekker alongside hot prospect Eben Etzebeth.

Meyer's side meet on June 6, just three days before their first Test with England on June 9 in Durban and the coach admits that the timing is hardly ideal in relation to their preparation.

"There's a big concern about the lack of time we have to train together," Meyer told the BBC. "That's why it's difficult to pick a side because there will be injuries after those derbies. "It's not an ideal situation but you can't make excuses. It's going to be a huge challenge for us but the guys are really motivated."

Meyer also revealed in the interview that scrum-half Fourie du Preez is under consideration for selection despite currently playing in Japan.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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