Matfield return a windfall for Bulls


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Springbok Victor Matfield’s return to South Africa has brought an unexpected windfall for the Bulls and Blue Bulls.

This was apparent after Springbok lock Danie Rossouw extended his contract with the Bulls this week and two others, Fourie du Preez and Wikus van Heerden are also considering turning down big money offers from overseas to stay in Pretoria.

Rossouw admitted Matfield was the swaying factor in his decision in an interview published in Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Sondag.

The big lock said he had extended his contract for a year and thus turned down a R5-million offer from Northampton Saints, who ironically also offered Matfield a contract.

Rossouw also received offers from Brive, Toulon and Stade Francois to join them but turned them all down.

“Its great to know that I will still be playing at Loftus Versfeld,”Rossouw told Sondag, “I made my decision when I heard that Victor would be returning because I enjoy playing alongside him.

“I still haven’t played so well this year in the Super 14 and I want to build a name for myself for another year before I go overseas. Money isn’t always everything and I would rather put everything in to rebuild the Bulls,” Rossouw added.

Rossouw signed a one year extention to his contract, while Du Preez, whose contract expires at the end of May will make a decision soon.

Du Preez is considering a big money offer from the Cardiff Blues while Van Heerden will make a decision this week about a move to Saracens.

“I told Victor that if he comes back then I would stay at the Bulls,” World Cup winner Du Preez told Sondag, “We can restart our partnership that won the Super 14. I am currently in negotiations with the Bulls and should make a decision soon.”

Van Heerden, who captained the Bulls this year in Du Preez’ absence, was said to be a certainty to sign for Saracens, but has had a rethink in the meantime.

“I will take a decision soon, but I am happy in Pretoria and don’t really want to move,” Van Heerden said. All three admitted the lure of facing the British and Irish Lions in South Africa next year would play a massive part in their decisions.

Sapa – Super14.com

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