Johannesburg – Former Springbok stalwart Victor Matfield will make his return to the playing field for the Bulls in this year's Super Rugby coming out of a two-year retirement, the Blue Bulls Company (BBC) confirmed on Friday.
Matfield, one of the most decorated players in the history of South African rugby, is a former Springbok captain with 110 Test caps behind his name. Only John Smit, with 111 caps, has played more Tests for South Africa.
He also lead the Bulls to all three their Super Rugby titles in 2007, 2009 and has been offered a contract for 2014 and 2015, which he has accepted as he still harbours dreams of representing the Springboks.
The BBC said it had been pro-active in securing Matfield's signature as coach for 2016 and 2017 – a deal he agreed to after he was granted permission to return to the playing field. He has been part of the union's coaching structures in 2013.
“To have someone with Victor's experience available for selection, as well as his expertise on the training field, is a win-win situation for us,” said Bulls coach Frans Ludeke.
“He will not only add value as a senior player on the field, but will also continue to mentor younger players with his vast experience of rugby at all levels.
“Victor has been a superb servant of Springbok and Bulls rugby and he has shown on the training field in the last couple of months that he is still hungry to succeed at the top levels of the game.”
Matfield will make his return to the field playing off the bench in Saturday's pre-season warm-up match between the Bulls and Stormers in Polokwane. – Sapa