Bulls

Matfield set to snub Northampton

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Chances are “very good” that Springbok lock forward Victor Matfield will return to the Blue Bulls soon, according to an article in Afrikaans daily Beeld on Tuesday.


Matfield said from France on Tuesday he was delighted with developments during the past few days, according to Beeld.


“I’ll announce on Wednesday whether I’ll continue my career with the Saints or with the Bulls but chances are very good that I’ll return to Pretoria,” the rugby World Cup star said.


Speaking from Toulon, he said he would return to South Africa for less money than he would earn abroad if he could be sure of the same security offered by the English club Northampton Saints.


All that seems to stand between Matfield and a reunion with the Bulls and SA rugby is the matter of a Springbok contract. A contract with SA Rugby, added to that of the Blue Bulls, could provide Matfield with the same security as a three-year contract with Saints.


Matfield was unwilling to say how much the Blue Bulls had offered him but it will certainly be less that the 375 000 pounds (approximately R5.63m) that Northampton has been reported as offering.


Beeld reports that it was learnt earlier on Tuesday that a private company had made available about R1.8m over the next three years as part of the revised remuneration package with which the Blue Bulls Company wanted to lure the Springbok lock back to Pretoria.


The new Blue Bulls offer is said to amount to no less than R3m per year. This includes Matfield’s potential income from his involvement with the Springboks.


The World Cup star had indicated earlier that he would be willing to turn his back on offers from, among others, Toulon in France and Northampton in England, if the Blue Bulls’ offer provided “sufficient financial peace of mind”.


It has been said that the Blue Bulls Company’s new offer entails a three-year contract, which will be amended annually according to the value of the rand, reports Beeld.


Matfield is unlikely to be offered a Springbok contract immediately but it is an open secret that SA Rugby and the Blue Bulls are “partners” in the new offer.


Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has indicated that Matfield will be invited to the national team’s first training camp of the year. It will be held at Stellenbosch and is scheduled to start on May 18. Players earn money every time they are included in a squad for a series of Test matches.


If Matfield is selected for the Springbok squad for the home Tests against Wales and Italy, the Tri-Nations series and the proposed Grand Slam tour of the UK at the end of the year, his income from that source may run to about R500 000.


He will be paid extra every time he is selected for the final squad of 22 for any Test match. Players are also paid a bonus for every Test victory.


This is said to come to about R80 000 per match. These bonuses vary because players earn more for winning, say, a Tri-Nations Test than for beating Italy.


The Blue Bulls Company’s contribution to the revised offer is said to amount to between R1.3m and R1.5m annually.


Sapa – Super14.com

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