Springbok lock Victor Matfield could be in action for the Springboks against Wales this June after all.
This was revealed after Matfield made a secret trip back to South Africa to meet with Bok coach Peter de Villiers on Saturday and has pledged his future to the national side.
Rugby 365 reports that it was previously thought that Matfield would not be available because of his contract with French club Toulon, and his comments that he would only return to South Africa to play under Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer.
When Meyer was beaten by De Villiers for the Bok job, it was assumed that Matfield would not return.
However, the move is a major coup for De Villiers, who also last month succeeded in appointing John Smit as his captain for the international year ahead.
The meeting, which was revealed by Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Sondag, took place at the airport in George and was a resounding success according to De Villiers.
“We did meet,” De Villiers confirmed to Sondag when approached, “Victor [Matfield] and I had a great chat and I can say that everything that was said in the past is not true and has been forgotten.
“Victor told me he moved to France for his future and because he was offered a lot of cash to go.
“He also said he longed to return to the country and play for a South African team and is currently negotiating to do so.”
According to De Villiers, the meeting was brutally honest.
“Look, we were very honest with each other and we both asked some tough questions and received straight answers,” he said.
“But at the end of the meeting Victor committed himself to the Springboks again.”
De Villiers reiterated that he could not make the World Cup Final’s Man of the Match any promises.
“We spoke about his future and I’m happy we could have the meeting.
“He asked for the meeting, but I told him again that I could make him no promises.
“I am however very happy that he will be available for the Springboks.
“Victor was very excited when he left and we had a very fruitful discussion,” added the Bok coach.Tweet