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Matfield bids ‘adieu’ to South Africa

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Bulls captain and South Africa stand-in skipper Victor Matfield has signed a six-month contract with French club Toulon and will be available for his new club from January 1 next year.

The announcement was made on the official Bulls website after it was uncertain whether their star player would bite the bullet and continue his rugby overseas.

Matfield made his Provincial debut for the Blue Bulls in 1998 and played 77 Super Rugby matches for the Bulls (from 2001) – who were recently crowned Super 14 champions for the first time in the tournament’s history.

The towering lock, regarded the world’s best in his position, was chosen to lead his country against New Zealand in the Tri-Nations encounter in Durban this year after regular skipper John Smit was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Even though the match was lost 21-26, Matfield took pride in becoming South Africa’s 52nd captain and the first lock to lead the country in 42 years.

The 58-Test veteran plans on negotiating his rugby future with the new Springbok coach once an appointment has been made after the Rugby World Cup. This leaves open the possibility that he may not be totally lost to South African rugby.

Ace line-out technician Matfield’s goal has always been to play as many Tests as possible for the Springboks and to represent his country against the touring British & Irish Lions in 2009.

 

365 Digital

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