Is Big Vic on the way back?

Fri, 01 Nov 2013 07:39
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This week Bakkies Botha returned to the Springbok team and very soon his long-time second row partner Victor Matfield may be back on the playing field as well.

This week Bakkies Botha returned to the Springbok team and very soon his long-time second row partner Victor Matfield may be back on the playing field as well.

Reports suggest that both Matfield and Bok flyhalf Derick Hougaard are on the comeback trail with the Bulls, hoping the experienced duo can play a role in their 2014 Super Rugby campaign.

SuperSport reported on Friday that Matfield has been spotted training in Pretoria with Springbok fitness coach Basil Carzis in a bid to get back in shape for Super Rugby and perhaps, even put himself in contention for Test selection.

Matfield has not played since retiring after the 2011 World Cup, while Hougaard moved to the United Kingdom in 2008 to join his former Bulls coach - now Springbok boss - Heyneke Meyer at Leicester.

Hougaard set Super Rugby alight in 2007, scoring 161 points in 14 matches (all with the boot), finishing behind only Stephen Donald of the Chiefs in the point-scoring tally (164 in 13 games).

He was also a key part of the team that lifted the trophy that year in a thrilling 20-19 final triumph over the Sharks - the first between South African foes.

After returning from a stint at Saracens, Hougaard has been serving as a junior kicking coach at Loftus and could figure in the 2014 Bulls squad if his Achilles recovery continues to go as planned.

Matfield has also been an important component of the Bulls' coaching setup, overseeing the forward and attack.

While the Bulls have remained tight-lipped over the prospects of the duo making a return to Super Rugby, there's little doubt the squad would see immediate benefits in both depth and experience to impart throughout what is now a relatively young group.

Sources: SuperSport & SANZAR News Service

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