Speculation grows around Matfield comeback

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 10:12 16/04/2012
Victor Matfield
Getty Images
RETURNING?: South African media is speculating about the return to international rugby of Springboks great Victor Matfield.

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South African rugby great Victor Matfield is tipped to make a sensational comeback to captain the Springboks.

Matfield hung up his boots after the Boks played the British Barbarians last year in the wake of their unsuccessful World Cup defence in New Zealand. The rugged lock played 124 tests.

But he hasn't fronted for the Bulls in this year's Super Rugby, taking up TV commentary commitments. He has also been helping the Bulls as a lineout consultant

But it seems his strong connections to new Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer might be enough to persuade the 34-year-old to enter the test arena again for the coming three-match series with England in South Africa in June.

South African media has been abuzz with that speculation over the weekend with both Afrikaans newspapers and English website reporting details.

Meyer, in a recent interview with Keo.co.za, said he wouldn't pick a long-term captain until he had got to know the players.

The coach said he would pick a captain after his own heart. But he also admitted that the short turnaround before the June tests wouldn't allow him to change much in the Bok structures, and that he may have to count on the existing leaders to steer the ship.

Last year's captain John Smit has retired from international rugby and has taken up a club position with Saracens in England.

The Boks have also lost their other senior lock Bakkies Botha to retirement.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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