Rugby 11.6.2015 11:55 am

I came back to play for the Boks – Matfield

Victor Matfield during the South African National rugby team training and media session at St Peter's College on May 04, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images)

Victor Matfield during the South African National rugby team training and media session at St Peter's College on May 04, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images)

While veteran lock Victor Matfield has made his mark in Super Rugby for the Bulls this season, coming out of retirement was always about playing for the Springboks in the World Cup.

Matfield,38, originally retired after the World Cup in 2011 but returned in 2014 for the Bulls in a two year contract with the focus on being part of the Boks World Cup squad.

“I came back to play for the Springboks,” said Matfied at a function in Johannesburg, on Wednesday, marking 100 days to go before the World Cup begins.

“The Bulls were always close to my heart, but it was almost more coaching there and just helping out as a player.”

Even if he were to be a part of the squad without much game time at the tournament in England starting in September, Matfield believed he could still make a significant contribution to the team.

“I came out of retirement and said to Heyneke when he asked me, this is really (a) coaching staff and a team that should win the World Cup.

“For me to be a part of it will be fantastic. I said to Heyneke I don’t know what my role is going to be – maybe playing, maybe in the squad helping some of the youngsters go through the lineouts or whatever I can do. As long as I can be part of it, it will be great for me. With 100 days to go, there’s no injury and hopefully I can be part of it.”

Despite the sentiment involved, Matfied will not be playing in the Bulls final game of the season against the Cheetahs in their Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday as part of the Saru agreement to rest Bok players.

While Matfield ruled out playing again for the Bulls, he hinted he may make a return as a coach. His proclamation also coincided with a Bulls board of directors meeting scheduled for Friday where it is speculated that current coach Frans Ludeke may be shown the door.

“It will be tough to never play at Loftus again but being with the Boks I’m being rested for the game. Hopefully I’ll have a few more years there in another capacity. I had a few more games than I thought I would have over the last two years with the Bulls.

“I’ve always said after rugby I want to coach. There’s no better place than at the Bulls. We also have to see what they decide on Friday and how things are going to work. That’s not something I can really talk about now.”

While it had been a difficult season with the Bulls where they lost all four of their games on tour, stretching their unenviable record of 11 losses in a row playing overseas in Super Rugby, Matfield said there was still reason to be positive.

“Rugby has been my life. If things don’t go well it’s always tough. I know the fans hate to lose but for the players and people in that environment, you can just feel the disappointment within the group.

“When you’ve been fortunate enough to have won trophies and been in a team that’s been the best in the world with the Boks, you want to be part of something like that again. That just makes up for the bad times.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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