Victor Matfield 'will play for the Bulls this year'
January 14, 2014
Matfield claiming a line-out for South Africa © Getty Images
Victor Matfield seems to be on the verge of a return to Super Rugby outfit the Bulls three years after retiring in 2011, South African media services are reporting.
The Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks star "has been given the green light by the coaching staff and fitness experts to resume his career, but still has to wait for an administrative clearance," Supersport reported, saying he had been practising with the Bulls since early December. He has been alternating between a playing and coaching role as the team prepares for the upcoming season.
Matfield was a key part of the South Africa team that won Rugby World Cup 2007 - earning the man-of-the-match award in the final against England - and also won two Tri-Nations titles during a career that saw him amass 110 caps. He also claimed Super Rugby titles with the Bulls in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Sources from the Bulls have told Supersport that Matfield would be used "sparingly" to ensure he was ready for international duties. The Bulls plan to use Matfield off the bench in their opening matches and start him more in the latter part of the season. Matfield isn't expected to take part every week, and will fall back into a coaching and mentoring position during his weeks off.
Die Burger and Sport24 have reported that a joint press release from the Bulls and South Africa is expected "soon", raising the prospect that Matfield, 36, could be an outside candidate for Heyneke Meyer's squad for Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September