Victor almost lured to Brumbies
Pretoria - Bulls and Springbok legend Victor Matfield has revealed that he almost joined the Brumbies in a bid to revive his career.
The Sydney Morning Herald's website
reports that the 110-Test veteran was on the brink of moving his family to Canberra, where it was believed he would join up with former Springbok mentor and then Brumbies coach, Jake White.
However, it was not to be the case as the 2007 Rugby World Cup winning lock, with White as Springbok coach, came out of retirement to play for the Bulls once more at the beginning of the Super Rugby season.
With Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie naming his squad for their incoming tour on Thursday and with Matfield's Bulls taking on the Brumbies at Loftus this weekend, the Bulls captain highlighted how Australian rugby could benefit from lifting their ban on overseas-based players' eligibility for national selection.
Matfield expressed his shock at Wallabies and Brumbies captain Ben Mowen's decision to further his career in France at the end of the current Southern Hemisphere season, a decision which would rule him out of further selection to the Wallabies setup.
"I don’t know if it’s just the money, but it’s difficult to make a decision for you and your family," Matfield told smh.
"As a player you always want it because if you can play overseas, you can get maximum cash and still play for your country.
"But I can understand why it’s hard for Australia and for Super Rugby coaches, because you want your best players."
Matfield then revealed how in 2012, both the Brumbies and the Waratahs approached him for various roles, with the Brumbies offering a playing role, with an option to coach thereafter.
It was a potential move which helped White lure Mowen to switch to the Brumbies from the Waratahs.
"I did have a good, hard look at it and thought about it.
"It was something that I almost took up, but with my family it was just easier in Pretoria.
"It would have been a good opportunity and it was enticing, but I’m glad I am back playing with the Bulls."
The three-time Super Rugby champion hasn’t lost his touch, leading the competition statistics for lineout steals and wins. It sets up a massive set-piece battle against Mowen, who is level with Matfield in lineout stats.Teams:Bulls
15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Bongo Mbonambi, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich BeyersBrumbies