JOHANNESBURG — Victor Matfield has tried his hand at coaching before. Ten days after he played his last competitive rugby match for the Barbarians against Australia at Twickenham back in November 2011, he was unveiled as a “specialist coach” at the Bulls focusing on the lineouts and scrums. The job seemed to go well during the 2012 season, and Matfield juggled his coaching job with his TV rugby analyst’s work at SuperSport. The following year, the consulting job was upgraded and Matfield became the Bulls’ forwards and attack coach for the 2013 season. The assistant coach’s job lasted one season and Matfield soon returned to playing the game after signing a contract with the Bulls for 2014 and 2015. When he retired for a second time, he went back to the SuperSport job. He was rumoured to be taking up a coaching position with Eddie Jones at the Stormers for the 2016 season, but that came to nothing when Jones was lured to England. Rumours have circulated over the past few days linking Matfield to the Lions, a position which has now been confirmed. – David O’Sullivan
Former Springbok lock Victor Matfield was on Thursday confirmed as the Lions’ new forwards coach.
The announcement was made by the Lions Rugby Company on Thursday. Swys de Bruin officially took over as Lions head coach on Thursday following the departure of Johan Ackermann to Gloucester in England.
With De Bruin now the head mentor, JP Ferreira is the Lions’ new attack coach, while former under-19 coach, Joey Mongalo, takes over from Ferreira as defence coach. The 40-year-old Matfield played 127 Tests for the Springboks between 2001 and 2015. He is also a Bulls legend, having won three Super Rugby titles with the Pretoria franchise, but now looks set to join their rivals across the Jukskei River.
Matfield and De Bruin previously worked together as player and coach when both were at Griquas in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Since retiring after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Matfield has appeared as a pundit on SuperSport. Both Matfield and Mongalo will join the Lions immediately and they will stay on for the duration of the Currie Cup. No involvement has been confirmed beyond the completion of the tournament.