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Matfield - 'It just felt right'

Matfield - 'It just felt right'

Victor Matfield says it "just felt right" becoming Lions forwards coach when approached by head coach and long-time mentor Swys De Bruin.

Matfield began his professional career at Griquas under the tutelage of De Bruin, who has now taken up the role of head coach at the Lions following Johan Ackermann's departure to Gloucester.

And according to Matfield, it makes perfect sense that he wants to be re-united with the person who taught him a lot about rugby in his younger playing days.

"It's almost deja vu. I still remember as a 21-year-old getting the call from Swys to come and join him at Griquas," the 40-year-old Matfield told a press briefing in Johannesburg.

"When he called me again now it just felt right.

"The culture that is here at the Lions is fantastic for me to walk in. For me as a young coach now, I think I can learn a lot.

"They've achieved a lot over the last few years and I'm here to learn. Hopefully I can add something to what they're doing."

Matfield became a Bulls legend making over 200 appearances for the franchise in his playing career.

While some Bulls fans may view Matfield's decision as a betrayal, Matfield insists this is not the case and that he is doing what is best for his coaching career.

"It's just the next step in the right direction now," he said.

"I've been with the Bulls for years and I'll always have a special place in my heart for them.

"I'm a young, new coach and this is a new opportunity for me. If anyone had asked me which head coach I'd have wanted to work with it would be Swys because that's where I've learnt a lot of my rugby as a young player, and my rugby career turned out pretty good."

Meanwhile, the 40-year-old admits he is impressed with the set-up at the Lions thus far.

"The work ethic on the field is just fantastic. It's great to see the intensity they train with," he added.

"I've got rugby in my blood. I love the game and the people in it.

"This is a new beginning for me."

The Golden Lions host the Sharks in Currie Cup action on Saturday.

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