Victor Matfield lauds Bulls' young guns knocking on the Springboks' door

Victor Matfield lauds Bulls' young guns knocking on the Springboks' door

Former Springbok Victor Matfield is excited about the talent coming through the Bulls' burgeoning ranks.

It's no secret that the top South African franchises are facing teething problems in dealing with the demands of the post-Super Rugby era. Mounting campaigns across two fronts - the Champions Cup/Challenge Cup and United Rugby Championship - is taxing. 

As such, Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White has been forced to blood youngsters to grow squad depth.

Among a flood of new talent, Matfield has pointed out two players that he feels are destined for the green and gold. Eighthman Cameron Hanekom and lock JF van Heerden continue to impress at the Bulls and at just 21 and 19 years of age respectively, their potential is huge.

"There is a lot of talk in South Africa about him [Hanekom] being very close to [Bok] selection," the lineout legend told

"He is a very talented guy and explosive with a high workrate, but there are also a lot of other very good players in South Africa.

"It will be interesting. He has been to one of the camps with Rassie and the coaching staff, so he must be very close.

"This new kid JF, I think he is only 19 years old. I think he will be a Springbok. 

"But I think the three or four guys that we've got at the Springboks will be there for the next two years or maybe even to the next World Cup. I am not sure we will replace them.

"They are still very athletic and they are still playing really well. But as you know, here in South Africa we've got so much talent coming through every year."

Matfield went on to praise his beloved Bulls, with whom he won three Super Rugby titles, for their talent acquisition.

"I think everything is in place at the Bulls at the moment... they are building well and they are getting good players from school level," he continued.

"South African schoolboy rugby is so strong and the pipeline of young players coming through is just unbelievable. I think they've got the structures right; they've got things in place.

"Last year it felt like Jake was a bit scared to give the young guys an opportunity. This year he gave them opportunities and most of them came through. It is nice to see the young players coming through and learning from the old players."

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