9 Sep 2015

Springbok Matfield joins Northampton

11:56 am on 9 September 2015

The veteran Springbok lock Victor Matfield has joined English Premiership rugby side Northampton.

Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Matfield, the most-capped Springbok with 123 international appearances, will join up with his new club after playing at the Rugby World Cup, which starts in England later this month.

Northampton's director of rugby Jim Mallinder said Matfield was one of the outstanding forwards in world rugby who had been at the top of the game for well over a decade now - and his selection by South Africa for a fourth consecutive World Cup shows that he remains a force to be reckoned with.

"We're very much looking forward to Victor joining up with the squad and believe he has a lot to offer the club, not only on the field, but also off it in terms of his leadership qualities and experience."

Matfield retired after the 2011 World Cup, but after two seasons as a coach with the Bulls returned to the game last year.

The 38-year-old announced in June that he was going to retire again after the World Cup and had been in line to take over as Bulls coach from Frans Ludeke, who has already stepped down, before changing his plans again.

Matfield said he joined Saints to make the best contribution he possibly can and he had a genuine desire to hopefully play an instrumental role in a team effort, with the aim of lifting silverware in both the Aviva Premiership and the European Rugby Champions Cup.

"For now I will focus only on the Springboks' campaign to win the Rugby World Cup, but I am very excited about the journey with Saints from November onwards," Matfield said.