Matfield: I'd play for Heyneke

2012-01-26 08:08

Cape Town - Former Springbok and Bulls captain Victor Matfield could come out of retirement, but only if Heyneke Meyer is unveiled as the new Springbok coach on Friday, the Cape Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

Matfield retired at the end of last year after an illustrious career with the Springboks and Bulls, but said he would consider a return to the field if Meyer called on him to do so.

“Everyone knows what I think about Heyneke, but we must wait until Friday before we talk about it,” the former lock told the newspaper.

“Let’s wait and see what happens, we will see, we will talk. Everything has consequences. Playing, I don’t know ... but we will see. It depends if he wants me. I really don’t know, it is difficult to say,” Matfield said.

Matfield, 34, is certain to feature in Meyer’s management structure in the Springbok team if he is not asked to return as a player - probably as a technical adviser or a lineout consultant, a role Matfield currently holds at the Bulls.

Matfield captained the Bulls to a Super 14 and Currie Cup title under Meyer’s mentorship.

A return to rugby by Matfield is likely to lure the likes of Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha and Gurthro Steenkamp back into the national team after their departure overseas.

If Matfield is to return under Meyer, it would probably be for a season or two just for Meyer to get to grips with the structure at national level and it would also solve the next big dilemma of who the next Springbok captain will be.

The Blue Bulls Company said on Wednesday that The SA Rugby Union had approached it for the services Meyer, the club's executive for rugby.

Talks between the two parties took place in Cape Town on Wednesday.


  • SeeVeeDeeEl - 2012-01-26 08:12

    Stay retired, Victor. Too many has made the same mistake.

      SeeVeeDeeEl - 2012-01-26 08:29


      Dhirshan - 2012-01-26 08:34

      why not just bring back john smit and os du randt as well? haha

      marcel.verster - 2012-01-26 08:44

      Please don't do it!!! I don't want to see another sports star come back after retirement and be useless!

      Saffa - 2012-01-26 09:42

      Oh dear rugby gods no. Next it will be batty boy Jaco, JP Nel and various other Bulls 2nd raters all making miraculous comebacks to play under Heyneke - oh helllll no.

      brionyl.french - 2012-01-26 10:03

      Can bring back Francois Pienaar and all the old boys watch as rugby becomes our embarrasing sport, and tops cricket..

      Dawie - 2012-01-26 10:07

      Thanks but no thanks - please remain retired as we can go forward without another overrated player on pension . There are more than adequate replacements in the younger ranks !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-01-26 11:44

      Makes you wonder why he retired in the 1st place???

      Thopa - 2012-01-26 13:42

      how much do these guys earn?

  • Mark - 2012-01-26 08:13

    Open to correction but I believe Smit ended on 111 caps ?

      KallieHungBal - 2012-01-26 08:28

      For this reason alone I want him to come back. He deserves to be the most capped Bok 1000 times more than JS who was kept in the team 4 years longer than he should have been there.

      malcolm.molver - 2012-01-26 08:39

      Kallie you'd do well to realise that Matfield wasn't that good the last two seasons. Always hung around in the backline instead of doing the hard work

      KallieHungBal - 2012-01-26 08:54

      Yes Malcolm, but he was still 10 times better than JS who in the end didn't know if he was a prop, a hooker, a wing or a flyhalf. PDV would have picked him on fullback just to give him caps. VM made a positive contribution to the team.

      Loodpil - 2012-01-26 08:59

      Guess they're not counting Smit's last couple of games since, although he was there, he didn't really play.

      Peet - 2012-01-26 09:12

      Mark, you are correct. John Smith does indeed have the most caps. VM played in less tests, but rather hold the record for the player with the most appearances in a Springbok jersey.

      Alan - 2012-01-26 10:40

      of which he only played half games in about the last 40 games !!!!!

  • Lionel - 2012-01-26 08:13

    Victor,with all due respect to you,you have served your country well and we thank you for that but would you like people to remember you as the Legend you were or as most remember John Smit. Stick to coaching and commentary work,let the youngsters have a go now!!!!!!!!!

      Jannie - 2012-01-26 08:23

      and yes there are plenty

      Elize - 2012-01-26 08:51

      I whole heartedly agree - it is about time that Victor departed - there are many youngsters who deserve a chance now.

      Geoff - 2012-01-26 09:14

      As a coach he'll probably do as much work as he did round the field when he was playing - zero clean outs so he can't coach that and zero pushing at scrum time because he didn't do that. Oh I forgot he is a line out coach - 20 per game should keep him busy. Ever wonder why Bakkies could only play 40 minutes. Now you know he had to do the work of two locks. We can only wait to see what his commentating will be like!

      Soetdoring - 2012-01-26 09:19

      Jannie, who are they? The only recognised lock remaining is Andries Bekker who is more or less permanently injured. Flip Flop was tried and tested, but failed. Mostert has an outside chance.

      Dawie - 2012-01-26 10:33

      @soetdoring - To many to mention all but how about Juandre Kruger (Bulls)/Wilhelm Steenkamp(Bulls)/Flip van der Merwe(Bulls)/Andries Bekker (stormers)/Rynhardt Elstadt(Stormers)/De Kock Steenkamp(Stormers) /Eben Etzebeth(Stormers)/Franco van der Merwe(Lions)/Hendrick Roodt(Lions)/ Martin Muller(Cheetahs)/Waltie Vermeulen(Cheetahs)Francois Uys(Cheetahs)/Willem Alberts(Sharks)(also no 7)/Anton Bresler(Sharks) just to mention a few !!!!!!!!!

      Chrono - 2012-01-26 10:52

      Please if you commentate stick to Afrikaans! I've heard the word "awesome" way too many times already.

      Soetdoring - 2012-01-26 13:30

      @Dawie. All those players first need to prove themselves in Super 15 before you can call them potential Bok material. Quality Locks is unfortunately one position this country is not blessed with.

      Dawie - 2012-01-26 16:05

      @soetdoring - Some of them are already Boks and the rest are more than capable of filling the gap left by Vic & Bakkies !! Watch the coming S15 series and my statement will be proven right !!!

  • Sargon - 2012-01-26 08:13

    I'd love to see that happen!!! My only worry is that it may end up being a bit like the John Smith episode, where he was clearly to old.

  • Bulldozer - 2012-01-26 08:14

    The two greatest rugby minds ever, to reunite. Imagine that.

      Jannie - 2012-01-26 08:22

      i wouldnt say greatest rugby minds... good but not great...

      Kosie - 2012-01-26 08:58

      I wish your brain would unite for a change.

      Bulldozer - 2012-01-26 09:44

      Kosie, how's your mother?

      Kosie - 2012-01-26 12:24

      dead and yours?

      Bulldozer - 2012-01-26 15:54

      Dead as well. 21 Years.

  • Adriaan - 2012-01-26 08:15

    I agree, come back as a Consultant or Coach not a player. You had a awesome run and ended on a very high note. That is how everyone wants to retire

  • Henk - 2012-01-26 08:15

    red ons hiervan!!!

      Elize - 2012-01-26 08:52


  • Edmund - 2012-01-26 08:19

    Go out with style.. what is the point if he can't make it to the next Rugby World Cup. We need new blood to find their feet before then.

  • Jannie - 2012-01-26 08:21

    retire and enjoy the trappings of silver lakes, your cushy car and the endorsement money.. we need new blood, you did well extremely well its time to stay ta ta.

  • Malcolm - 2012-01-26 08:23

    Mark you are 100% correct! Victor you had a great career, give Andries Bekker a go. You are the lineout master but Bekker will become the best lock in the world. I am a massive Stormers/Wp supporter but I am really hoping Meyer gets the Bok job, he is the best man for the position and I think he will get the Bokke back to the top.

      Kosie - 2012-01-26 09:00

      exactly; play bekker and let matfield be his Tech advisor.

  • Michele - 2012-01-26 08:26

    Let him play for another year, just to help Heyneke settle things down in the lock position. We are going to be a bit thin in that position. Once we have a suitable partner for andries Bekker then Victor can stand down again.

      Kosie - 2012-01-26 09:01

      bekker and matfield play the same position so it won't help playing matfield and bekker

  • Bootman - 2012-01-26 08:27

    Thanks but no thanks......

  • Jymiro - 2012-01-26 08:31

    Enjoy your deserving retirement, we should remember you for the good in the field of play. You succesfully taken an unprecedent lead to lead the Bulls to play in Soweto. You done South Africa great. Give the youngstars a chance

  • Robert - 2012-01-26 08:32

    Heyneke will not make the same mistake as Peter Divvy by recalling old players. Heyneke has a better style and technique.

  • vastis1 - 2012-01-26 08:38

    Stay in retirement old man!

  • Sydwell Magocoba - 2012-01-26 08:38

    Victor had a great career and we appreciate his contribution to SA rugby. But, this bias stance is a shame. This "buddy" system is dangerous and sends out the wrong message. We have an exceptional lock in Bekker and the Super rugby season should tell how our reserves look. This is the time to build not use old-timers. Next Bok team 15. Lambie, 14.Pietersen, 13. Mapoe, 12 De Jongh, 11, Aplon, 10. Jantjies, 9. Hogaard, 8. Strauss, 7. Burger, 6. Brussow, 5. Bekker, 4. Alberts, 3. J du Plessis, 2. Bismark, 1. Tendai

      rheinhardt.peens - 2012-01-26 13:30

      No Francois Steyn....thumbs down from me

      Jco - 2012-01-28 00:31

      What Bekker? Is he still playing (injured) or is he the bloke who was cheating in the park? Was it not a Bekker bloke who flirt with the girl? Please can you help me on this? I know of such a guy in the Cape who did something like that, are we talking about the same guy! If it is, I say sorry, he will be no good to the Springboks! Not a good role-model! Find a better lock than that! The rest of the team , well...! I will also let Burger go! He is a "yesterday's hero" player! No good anymore. Some other also over their time!

  • tommyinurface - 2012-01-26 08:40

    Stay retired please you had ur days we have Andries Bekker now

  • betsie.ackerman - 2012-01-26 08:43

    Is he broke already?

  • GrootWitHaai - 2012-01-26 08:46

    If anything Matfield is being tongue in cheek and showing a big fat toffee to de Villiers ;-)

  • andrew.arde - 2012-01-26 08:47

    Then he didnt really retire, did he?

  • Paul - 2012-01-26 08:48

    Hmmmm... So he did have a problem with Pieter de Villiers. I've always suspected that players sometimes sabotage their coaches.

  • Elize - 2012-01-26 08:49

    I stand on my knees: PLEASE , PLEASE Victor. Stay retired. You have had your chance and your retirement was long overdue, give other players a chance. Stay with your new coaching career

  • Sechaba - 2012-01-26 08:53

    growing up watching rugby, i used to think Mr. Matfield is Jesus Christ, i guess thats why i got to love rugby... a lineout consultant will do, not as a player

      Jimmy - 2012-01-26 09:17

      So you are definately not jewish then !!!

  • graham.carruthers - 2012-01-26 08:57

    As good as he is now we can't say that he will be as good in 4 years time when he is 38! We need to start building for the next world cup!

  • Bokfan - 2012-01-26 08:58

    Theres no chance he'll play again but I'd be glad to see him in the technical squad

  • Brenda - 2012-01-26 09:02

    Please Victor stay where you are - dont make a fool of yourself. Ýou were never a game changer anyway !

  • Candice - 2012-01-26 09:06

    Not Heyneke Meyer nor Victor should be involved with the Boks. Heyneke would force the ancient stereotypical Bulls game style which is proving unsuccessful of late on the Boks while Victor watches 14 other guys play the game

      Peet - 2012-01-26 09:20

      Ancient? Wow! Go have a check-up on your memory span quickly!

      Hugh - 2012-01-26 10:00

      Sorry to the Bulls fans, no disrespect intended but I believe Candice is right. With all the best coaching options unavailable, Heyneke is the bottom of the barrel. I have never rated him, and his tactical game plans are archaic to say the least. Predictable steamroller tactics. Basic rugby, no flair. I believe sincerely his ability is over rated and airbrushed over by the fact he had great players to cover for his inadequacies. Lets hope I'm wrong because I badly want Old Web Ellis to have a prolonged visit to our shores.

      Liam - 2012-01-26 10:38

      I agree Candice!If these guys had any skill we would have done better in our Rugby worldwide.I think these guys are just concerned with parties and being so called "SA celebs" rather than playing rugby.Maybe its time the all go flip burgers and get real jobs

      Jacques - 2012-01-26 10:39

      @Candice & Hugh If you look at track record of current coaches we certainly could have done worse in our choice. I agree a mind shift is required in game plan and choice of players, but that would again have been true for most coach choices. SA rugby need a wake up call as we are generally behind countries like NZ in terms of modern rugby style. The modern dynamic rugby style needs to be coached at school level so that it becomes second nature when under pressure. I personally think that Heyneke is one of the best options we have and we can only hope he steps up to the plate.

      Hugh - 2012-01-26 11:52

      @Jacques, I know there's a lot of loyalty to Heyneka, he's been part of the Bulls set up for decades. Sentiments aside, he doesnt have such a great good record, very up and down. Yes he may be the best option we have available, but not in my mind, no where near the best. Gert Smal would have been the aoption but alas no such luck.

      Jacques - 2012-01-26 12:48

      @Hugh, point taken, hopefully in the future... maybe I should have said viable coach options... Just remember that a World Cup winning team consists of a complete coaching staff with the right attitude and players with the right attitude - read hunger...

      Hugh - 2012-01-26 14:57

      Jacques, totally agree, the players know their jobs, the management team must ensure they are fit and prepared, and the selectors must do their frikking job and select. I really hope HM does do a sterling job, because we need it. There's a young side to be forged now and I hope there are more Lambies and young Habannas out there. Not to mention a jumper or two.

  • Raeez - 2012-01-26 09:06

    Why dont Ballie Swart come out of retirement while they at it?

  • Lloyd - 2012-01-26 09:06

    so players decide on wether to play for their country based on, if they think the coach is worthy of their services. Do us all a favour and stay retired, we owe you nothing!!!

      Hugh - 2012-01-26 10:01

      Respect maybe?

  • Dakey - 2012-01-26 09:13

    A lot of people have retired recently and it may well be a good idea to have a veteran player help out the next couple of years.

      David - 2012-01-26 09:27

      Absolutely,but then bring him onto the coaching staff.Lets not go back to the PDiv/Smit stupidity.

  • Jurgen - 2012-01-26 09:16

    great decision to call on Heyneke,

  • The-third - 2012-01-26 09:23

    34 is a good time to retire mate. Consult.

  • coenraad.swanepoel - 2012-01-26 09:23

    Verstaan sportsterre net gladnie die konsep van 'aftree' nie?

  • David - 2012-01-26 09:25

    Pdiv and John Smit all over again. We need a new start,not the same mistake of building our team around the old veterans.

  • Ruben - 2012-01-26 09:42

    yes bring back all the has been's!!!!!! bring it on!!!! breyton paulse, percy mongomery , haha its gonna be useless!!!!! why dont we just ask francois pienaar to come and captain again?

  • phangolicious - 2012-01-26 09:42

    Stay retired dude ................... the likes of you will only cause problems for the New Coach!!

  • jc.smit - 2012-01-26 09:44

    Victor is a great player, but we have enough old toppies in the team, like we saw at the previous world cup, get some young blood in the team and build towards the next world cup.

  • Christo - 2012-01-26 09:54

    Baie mense vergelyk Matfield met John Smit. Dis 'n onbillike vergelyking WANT Smit was nie meer op verdienste sy plek in die span werd nie EN hy was selfsugtig omdat hy nie uit vrye wil teruggestaan het nie. Matfield aan die ander kant het sy kant en neer as dit gebring. As hy vir Meyer 'n seisoen of wat kan help sien ek net voordele en nie nadele nie.

  • Jason - 2012-01-26 09:55

    Thats all we need. Already the bullets are threatening to lose the next world cup for us. Victor as much as I love him must stay in retirement and all the overseas players can also stay overseas, except steyn.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-01-26 10:02

    Gosh... i dont think he could handle a season or two he's old for a pro rugby player...

  • Mark - 2012-01-26 10:23

    Have to agree with a lot of chaps, Victor stay retired BUT definately take the offer as a line out SPECIALIST, the Boks or then again any team could do with the help of The King of Lineouts!!! Go Bokke and Go Heyneke!!

  • Ann - 2012-01-26 10:35

    No... time for a new chapter in your life, Vic. You were an outstanding lock (one of the best in the world) - let's remember you that way. Besides, I am sure you still have a lot to offer the rugby world in the way of coaching, commentary and involvement. Alles van die beste, whatever you decide to do.

  • AmosMoledi - 2012-01-26 10:49

    I would also play for Heyneke

  • Chrono - 2012-01-26 10:53

    I thought one played for one's country.

  • braynev - 2012-01-26 10:57

    tipical blue bulls now that heyneke is the coach all of a sudden all the has beens wants to come back figures blue bull springbok team with 20 hasbeens and never beens here we go for nothing wise choice rugby sa

      Morne - 2012-01-26 14:37

      Wait, what? That doesn't make any sense... Anyway, how is that typical of the Blue Bulls? I believe that Heyneke is the best option we have. Let's give him a chance and see what he can produce...

  • Melanie Harmse - 2012-01-26 10:57

    Victor and Bakkies can come back any time!!!!

      Saffa - 2012-01-26 13:20

      You must be related to JJ,

      phangolicious - 2012-01-26 15:32

      & fix your Pool

      Pieter - 2012-01-27 15:25

      @Saffa Go f@ck yourself you uninformed opinionated b!tch

  • J.D. - 2012-01-26 11:03

    He should be used in coaching capacity and not as player. He will never reach his former level not physically nor mentally.

  • Koos - 2012-01-26 11:27

    Why play only for Heyneke? You sound like a 40 year old retired boxer wanting to fight one last fight because the purse is big enough. Sorry, but this is the wrong reason for returning to rugby. We need new young talent to come through the ranks. A new coach will have a 4 year plan and I'm sure that plan should not include players with 1 or two years of mediocre playtime left in their legs. We all learned a lesson from Snorre's persistence to keep playing Smith.

  • wmatinyana - 2012-01-26 11:28


  • Flip - 2012-01-26 12:20

    And enext all other ex-Bulls players wanna make a comeback. Naas Botha, Frik Du Preez and Uli Schmidt. Just be careful if they test them positive for Salusa 45.