PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 15: Victor Matfield of the Bulls during the Vodacom Bulls conditioning session at Loftus Versfeld B Field on January 15, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Victor Matfield was named as the Springboks’ interim captain on Tuesday, capping a remarkable return to international rugby after retirement.

With regular leader Jean de Villiers out injured, Matfield, 37, is making his return to the international side after stepping down following the 2011 World Cup.

“Victor's appointment as interim captain is something I thought long and hard about and it wasn't an easy decision to make,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer making the announcement in Cape Town.

“The three candidates we considered, Victor, Bismarck du Plessis and Fourie du Preez, were all very strong options.”

Matfield, a lock, will lead the Springboks into a match against a World XV this Saturday, two tests against Wales and another against Scotland this month.

Prior to this series Matfield had captained the Boks in 17 tests.

“I'm here to serve the team and would like to make a positive contribution,” said Matfield.

“When I decided to return to playing rugby, my aim was to be good enough to make the Springbok team. I never dreamt of leading the team again and it's a massive honour.”