Johannesburg - While speculation rages on whether former Springbok and Bulls lock Victor Matfield will come out of retirement ahead of next year’s Super Rugby season, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer opened the door for Matfield to return if he proves to be the best in his position.
Speaking on Friday at the Springboks’ team hotel in Joburg, Meyer lauded Matfield for his ability as a line-out specialist.
While not confirming if Matfield would return, Meyer emphasised that the void left by Matfield at No 5 had still not been filled.
In the closest indication yet that Matfield could still be valuable as a player for the Bulls and Springboks, Meyer said the more players he had to choose from at lock, the better it would be for the Springboks for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
“You should speak to the player and his union about him coming back – it is not in my hands,” said Meyer.
“I’ve always believed that we need quality No 5 locks in this country. If you are good enough and old enough, you can play. He has always been a quality player and he has also been fit.
“I’ve also heard the rumours and it will be interesting to see if he is going to play.”
Meyer added that youngsters coming through at No 5 were needed.
Meyer has no doubt that Matfield’s fitness is still on a par with most international rugby players. He repeatedly cited Matfield’s skill with the ball in kick-offs.
Pretoria News Weekend