Springboks

White backs Matfield return

2012-04-22 22:11
Jake White (AP)

Pretoria - Former Springbok coach Jake White says it would make sense for national rugby coach Heyneke Meyer to select retired lock Victor Matfield as his captain.

White said after his Brumbies side's narrow 36-34 defeat to the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday night that the spate of injuries to candidates such as Jean de Villiers, Schalk Burger and Juan Smith could force Meyer's hand in that direction.

"At the end of the day if it means Victor has to come in and help South Africa," said White, who led the Boks to their 2007 world title.

"He (Matfield) has always been there to do it, he's been a fantastic ambassador for South African rugby.

"It worked wonders when we brought Os [Du Randt] and Monty [Percy Montgomery] back.

"Who knows, maybe having Victor around for a bit of stability is probably the right decision for Heyneke."

White, however, said an International Rugby Board (IRB) rule on player eligibility could prove to be a stumbling block.

"Apparently there is a six-month layoff period before you can play... obviously he'll have to play some rugby before he plays there," White said.

"He is running out of time with a six-month layoff.

"I am not sure about the IRB ruling but I heard that from someone."

The Brumbies mentor, meanwhile, did not mince his words regarding Australian teams' below par performances in this year's Super Rugby competition.

The competition's conference format has nonetheless worked out favourably thus far for White's Brumbies team.

The Canberra-based side, on 26 points, are third overall, by virtue of leading their conference while the Bulls, who have on 33 points, are in fourth place.

"It is quite simple. The Australian teams aren't near the top, so it is not a perception, it is a reality," White said.

"The bottom line, I suppose, is [title holders] the Reds have been hit with a massive amount of injuries. They are still a great team.

"I suppose it is quite difficult when you lose two, three flyhalves in one season for you to keep that momentum going.

"The Waratahs, it seems as though they are getting their game back on track."

White, who now lives in Canberra, received some criticism this week after he was reported to have said that he expected underhanded tactics in their clash against the Bulls.

He intimated on Saturday, however, that the words were wrongly attributed to him and that he had the greatest admiration for South African rugby.

"There is no doubt, I will say it now and I will say it over and over, South African rugby is massively strong," he said.

"These boys [Brumbies players] now saw it tonight first hand how strong the rugby is in our country.

"I am an extremely proud South African."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
32 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

After South Africa's 27-25 win over New Zealand at Ellis Park, are you confident the Boks could pull of a similar win on neutral ground at next year's World Cup in England?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.