Heyneke Meyer welcomes Victor return

February 1, 2014
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Vic

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Friday welcomed Victor Matfield’s return after it was confirmed that the 110-times capped lock would be back on the playing field in Vodacom Super Rugby for the Vodacom Bulls this season.

Matfield, who played his last Test for the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, captained the Pretoria-based franchise to all three their titles in Vodacom Super Rugby, in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Meyer said he was very happy that Matfield had decided to make a return to playing the game after coaching at the Bulls last season.

“I have always maintained that we have a lack of depth at 5 lock and believed that Victor could still make a valuable contribution as a player,” said Meyer.

“I’m glad that Victor has decided to do put on his boots again and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action. He was not given any guarantees about Springbok selection. If he can show he still has what it takes to be a Springbok, he will be considered, along with every other player who is eligible to play for South Africa.

“Victor has put in a lot of hard work to get into playing shape again and I’m sure he will make a success of his return to the game. Our depth at lock in South Africa isn’t great. Experienced players such as Andries Bekker and Juandré Kruger are now playing abroad, while Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit have missed a fair amount of rugby in the last year because of injuries.

“Victor has always been a world-class rugby player and knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level – I’m sure he would not have made this decision had he known he would not be able to compete or believed he could be the best in his position again.

 “We’ve seen in the past that players can make a successful return to rugby after a lengthy period on the sidelines. Jake White successfully brought back Os du Randt and Bob Skinstad, who both played a vital role when the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup in 2007. More recently Schalk Burger and Juan Smith both made a successful return from career-threatening injuries.”

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13 Comments

  1. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 9:26 am

    See most people see this from HM as the wrong message being send to the young locks in SA,

  2. avatar biltongbek says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Very subtle Heyneke, but sadly it isn’t very hard to read you.

    How many grandpa’s are we taking to the RWC?

  3. avatar Methos The French Stormer says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 10:22 am

    And if Matfield plays a big role in the winning of WC 2015 I hope all you naysayers will apologise…

    Cheers

  4. avatar Aldo says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 10:43 am

    As do I Methos. Funny how Heyneke says victor must prove himself, before he gets picked for the Boks, yet then everyone sees it as Heyneke guaranteeing Victor a Bok call up. I wonder if Victor proves to still be the number lock in the country, what the outcry would be when he gets a Bok callup.

    Guess its easier to make people complain than to get praise. No biggy, it is allways difficult to be happy at other people’s success. I wonder if Heyneke says Jean de Villiers is still captain of the Boks and the best 12 in the country, he is sending out the wrong message to the other 12′s in the country.

  5. avatar DavidS says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    What young locks in any event?

    WE DO NOT HAVE ANY

    Don’t say Pieter Steph Du Toit and Paul Willemse

    They have proved nothing.

    Only Etzebeth… and he is more of a Bakkies than a Victor…

    THERE ARE NO OTHER DECENT BPROMISING LOCKS

    Ja and being trasnparent now sudeenly makes HM a bad thing… I see Biltongbek is displaying his usual “genius”… you should change your name to biltongbrain

  6. avatar Morne Nortier says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Good luck Victor, it is arguably the toughest decision to make for a sports person because you only have everything to lose.

  7. avatar Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits) says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    @DavidS: What about Reniel Hugo the new Tukkies captain. Then we can bring his father, legenday WP lock Niel Hugo out of retirement to partner him in the second row. Heyneke likes to talk about making history and he will be the first Bok coach to pick a father and son in the same Bok team. Niel was always great at organising the lineouts. Age is just a number afterall.

  8. avatar Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits) says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    On a serious note, let’s wait and see how Victor goes. No one knows if his age has caught up to him yet.If he is another timeless Simon Shaw so be it.

  9. avatar Bekke says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Christo, if Neil Hugo was (1) ex BB and (2) liked to dye his beard black, then maybe he would have been on the shortlist. Is Louis Moolman still alive?
    And Aldo, it’s a bit pathetic to keep playing the victim mate – build a cammo bridge and get over it

  10. avatar Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits) says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    @Bekke:
    ‘build a cammo bridge and get over it’ hehe, jy hou daarvan om kak te soek ne

  11. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    February 2nd, 2014 at 2:24 am

    @Bekke:

    This 30 minute bridge speaks for itself…

    “Matfield started with a bang, stopping a Stormers runner dead in his track and soon he was his old self in the lineouts, where he took his own ball with ease and even stole another as his team was in trouble inside their own 22.”

  12. avatar Aldo says:
    February 2nd, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Christo, as bekke iets geweet het van rugby of nou en dan n tikkie inteligensie gewys het, was dit kaksoek. Ongelukkig is dit nou maar soos n poedel wat in die spieel kyk en n rottwieler sien, net hy sien homself as iets.

  13. avatar DavidS says:
    February 2nd, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    En dan in plaas van blaf dan braak hy al die stront wat hy inhou weens benoudheid dat iemand in die geheim iets positiefs skryf oor enige iets wat nie WP is nie uit op Ruggaworld…

    Let’s put it this way Christo

    If Niel Hugo and Reniel Hugo played a season of SR and performed well enough to be Boks then there is no reason not to be…

    So far every HM guess at a player’s performance after time off has come good.

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