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Matfield tells Bok coach he is available


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Springboks vice captain Victor Matfield confirmed his availability for the Rugby World Cup champions after quietly returning to South Africa to meet with coach Peter de Villiers.

Matfield, man of the match in the World Cup final victory over England last October, previously said he would play for the Boks only under his former Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer, who lost the race for the national job in January.

But Matfield flew in from France, where he plays for second-division Toulon, for a one-hour meeting at George airport with De Villiers, who confirmed Saturday’s talk to Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Sondag.

“Victor and I had a great chat and I can say that everything that was said in the past is not true and has been forgotten,” De Villiers said.

“Victor told me he moved to France for his future and because he was offered a lot of cash to go. He also said he longed to return to the country and play for a South African team and is currently negotiating to do so.

“We were very honest with each other and we both asked some tough questions and received straight answers. But at the end of the meeting Victor committed himself to the Springboks again.”

De Villiers said he made no promises to the 69-cap lock but was very happy that Matfield would be available for the season-opening series against Six Nations champion Wales in June.


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