KSA Shark ©

Meyer: No Matfield, but maybe FdP


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks on 23 May 2012 at 19:14
Tagged with : , , , ,

New Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer finally put to bed months of media speculation over the possible return of retired lock Victor Matfield.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 5 live Meyer confirmed the legendary second row forward will not be involved in a playing capacity.

Rugby 365 reports that Matfield, who featured in a record 110 Tests for South Africa between 2001 and 2011 before retiring after last year’s World Cup, could become involved as a line-out advisor.

Despite all the media speculation linking the 35-year-old Matfield to a return as Bok captain, Meyer has never publicly stated that he will bring the lock back.

At a recent Bok planning camp in Cape Town Meyer told a media scrum he will consider all his options.

“As for Victor [Matfield], I have never made a statement about Victor,” Meyer said at the Newlands camp earlier this month, adding: “I know there has been a lot in the media, but I have said that I will look at every single player that is available to me.”

Speaking to the BBC this week Meyer confirmed that there will be no comeback to the playing field for Matfield.

However, Meyer added that he would consider World Cup-winning scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, who is contracted to Japan champions Suntory Sungoliath but recently said that he is available if needed.

The Bok mentor said South Africa side will not underestimate the challenge posed by England when the teams meet in a three-Test series next month.

“There’s a lot of respect for England,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

“They started slowly at the Six Nations, but grew stronger and stronger during the tournament.

“England will be a great challenge. They have done brilliantly after the World Cup and I’ve been impressed with the way they fought back and the character they showed.

“You don’t beat France away from home if you’re not a great side.”

Meyer said that his squad for the home Tests may mirror that of opposite number Stuart Lancaster’s in containing more youth than experience.

Experienced Springboks duo Schalk Burger and Juan Smith are currently injured.

And he fears other star players could pick up injuries in the Southern Hemisphere’s Super Rugby tournament, which does not start its break until a week before the Test series begins.

In the final round of matches before the lay-off, four South African sides will go head-to-head.

The Lions host the Sharks, while the Bulls play the Stormers.

Meyer will then assemble his first South Africa squad three days before the first Test with England in Durban on 9 June.

“There’s a big concern about the lack of time we have to train together,” he said.

“That’s why it’s difficult to pick a side because there will be injuries after those derbies.

“It’s not an ideal situation but you can’t make excuses. It’s going to be a huge challenge for us but the guys are really motivated.”



8 Comments

  • I’m actually more unhappy with Matfield being ruled out then I am with FdP still being considered.

    FdP should not be allowed near the starting XV.

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.05.12 19:16:55 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : I disagree. I think we have more depth at lock than scrumhalf. Also FDP has been playing this year unlike Matfield.

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.05.12 19:23:55 by slammerboy Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    slammerboyVodacom Cup player
     
  • Why do we need FdP back?! Surely Meyer should prep the younger guys- he’s got less than four years… FdP is a legend but his time is over

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.05.12 19:27:21 by jessi Reply

    jessiUnder 21 player
     
  • @slammerboy (Comment 2) : Hougaard is WAYYYYY good enough and much better than FdP at the moment, so why would we want FdP back for anything other than a backup to Hougaard?

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.05.12 19:34:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : totally agree with you in that respect. I’m hoping Pienaar is backup but FDP may offer something as well because he is still playing. If he’s around and we have injuries why not involved him? Remember there are 2 derby games before the first test.

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.05.12 19:37:25 by slammerboy Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    slammerboyVodacom Cup player
     
  • FDP is 29 years old isn’t he?? He is by no means finished.

    I think if he can reach top form the Boks will benefit and let’s remember how well Morne Steyn plays when Fourie is next to him.

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.05.12 19:42:15 by wpw Reply
    Author
    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : Agreed.

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.05.12 20:13:52 by Original Pierre Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • I would not mind FdP in the mix – purely as a backup to Hougaard. I believe he is setting the world alight in Europe, but I am unfortunately not sure if Ruan can handle the pressure cooker that is Springbok rugby. I am talking about the SA rugby public and press

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.05.12 08:01:42 by Bokhoring Reply
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    BokhoringAssistant coach
     

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