Bulls call Matfield into team from coaches box

MARK GLEESON
Last updated 00:57 09/04/2014
Victor Matfield

LOCK IT IN: Veteran Victor Matfield has been called up from the coaches box to the Bulls playing squad to face the Highlanders.

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Lock Victor Matfield has been drafted back into the Bulls side to face the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday, a week after it was announced the former South Africa captain would travel to New Zealand and Australia as a coach only.

The 36-year-old returned to Super Rugby this season in a bid to gain selection for next year's Rugby World Cup, but the decision had been made to rest him for the four-match tour.

However, injuries to loose forwards Deon Stegmann and Dewald Potgieter in last Saturday's 25-20 loss to the Wellington Hurricanes means a recall for Matfield, who will partner current international Flip van der Merwe in the second row.

"Victor and Flip are a winning combination for us," coach Frans Ludeke told reporters in a teleconference call on Tuesday.

"They have a lot of experience and have played together a lot before. We know we can put pressure on the opposition ball this weekend."

Ludeke said before the tour that it had been negotiated on Matfield's return that he would not play in the overseas matches as the franchise were cautious of overworking the 2007 World Cup winner, who won 110 Springbok caps.

The Pretoria-based side also play the New South Wales Waratahs and Western Force on the tour, and are sixth in the 15-team competition.

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