CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Victor Matfield will return to top-level rugby in this years Super 15 and make himself available again for the Springboks, it is being widely reported in South Africa. Numerous reports say the 2007 World Cup-winning lock, who has played 110 tests for South Africa, will end his two-year retirement to again represent the Pretoria-based Bulls in Super Rugby from next month. He will be 37 in May. Matfield may also be considered for the Springboks, with national coach Heyneke Meyer a former coach of Matfield at domestic level with the Bulls and a big fan of the second-rower. Neither the Bulls nor the South African Rugby Union are commenting on a possible return for Matfield but he has been photographed training with the Bulls playing squad at a preseason camp, strengthening speculation over a comeback which was first rumoured in 2012, when Meyer indicated that Matfields return would be welcome. Meyer has also recently shown his willingness to recall veteran players to the national team, although none as old as Matfield, who is a member of the Bulls coaching staff. While Matfields ability as one of the best lineout forwards to play was still undisputed when he retired at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, he is risking diminishing his legacy as a great if hes unable to match those towering standards when he returns to the highest levels of the physically demanding sport after a long absence. "If (Victor) can play as he has in the past, it will be good news for South African rugby, but at his age it just gets harder and harder to compete at the same level," former South Africa lock Mark Andrews, a 1995 World Cup winner, told Die Burger newspaper. "And the 2015 Rugby World Cup is a long way away." Matfield could surpass Johan Ackermann as the oldest Springbok in the modern era if he plays for South Africa in the southern hemispheres Rugby Championship, which starts in August. Ackermann, the coach of the Johannesburg-based Lions, was also 37 when he played his last test in 2007. Ackermann backed Matfields return, even for the next World Cup in Britain, when Matfield would be 38. "Matfield is fit, athletic and his experience will add great value to the Springboks," Ackermann told the Afrikaans-language Die Burger. "I believe he is definitely still in Heyneke Meyers Springbok plans. He offers Heyneke security going into next years World Cup and is an ideal player to fall back on." Yet there was also a warning from Ackermann that Matfield shouldnt hold up younger players, something that led to criticism of the national team and former coach Peter de Villiers when former captain John Smit was picked at hooker at the end of his career ahead of Bismarck du Plessis, who was widely considered to be a better player at the time. Some argue that the Springboks should be developing a partnership between young locks Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit for the World Cup rather than gambling on Matfield. Air Max 97 Cheap Ireland
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.J. - Trying to learn and absorb the new West Coast offence being installed by new offensive co-ordinator Ben McAdoo, the New York Giants wrapped their final organized team activity Thursday before a three-day mini-camp next week.BALTIMORE -- BALTIMORE (AP) -- Carlos Santana doubled in two runs with two outs in the 13th inning, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-7 Thursday night for their fourth straight victory. Ryan Rayburn and Lonnie Chisenhall homered for the Indians, whose winning streak ties a season high. Three of Clevelands last four games have gone extra innings, including a 13-inning win over Detroit on Wednesday night. The Indians became the first team since the 2010 Angels to play two straight games of at least 13 innings, and it was the first time since 2003 that Cleveland played two consecutive 13-inning games. After two hits and a walk loaded the bases in the 13th, Santana came to plate against Troy Patton (0-1) with a .148 batting average. He pulled a sharp grounder inside the third-base line, only his third hit in 32 at-bats with two outs and runners on. Josh Outman (4-0) pitched two scoreless innings and Scott Atchison got three outs for his first save, despite giving up a solo home run to Nick Markakis. Ryan Flaherty also homered for Baltimore and Adam Jones had three hits. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado left after 11 innings with right groin stiffness. He didnt begin play this season until May 1 after undergoing off-season knee surgery. Baltimore used a five-run sixth inning to erase a 3-0 deficit, and after the Indians pulled even in the seventh the Orioles scored the go-ahead run in the bottom half without benefit of a hit. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera fumbled Machados sharp grounder and Jones followed with a bouncer to third. Santana threw wildly to second base trying to start a double play, leaving runners on second and third with one out. After Mark Lowe issued an intentional walk to Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-5. Chisenhall answered in the eighth with a pinch-hit homer off Darren ODay to make it 6-all. It was Chisenhalls seccond home run of the season, both in the last two games.dddddddddddd Much earlier, Indians starter Justin Masterson induced three double plays over the first five innings while being pressed into action on three days rest. In the Baltimore sixth, after Steve Clevenger and J.J. Hardy delivered two-out RBI singles, Flaherty hit a 2-1 pitch over the 25-foot scoreboard in right field to make it 5-3. The advantage vanished in the seventh. With one out, Flaherty fumbled a potential double-play grounder to second base, getting an out at first that resulted in an RBI for David Murphy. Mike Aviles then chased Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen with a game-tying single. Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half, but it would not last in this back-and-forth duel. Raburn put the Indians up 1-0 with a solo shot in the second inning, his first home run in 51 at-bats this season. Cleveland made it 3-0 in the third when Michael Brantley tripled in a run and scored on Chens first wild pitch of the year. NOTES: Baltimore has 12 or more hits in four straight games for the first time since April 2007. ... The Indians placed starter Zach McAllister (lower back strain) on the 15-day DL and recalled rookie T.J. House from Triple-A Columbus. House will make his first major league start Friday night against the Orioles, who will send Bud Norris to the mound. ... Cleveland also purchased Lowes contract from Columbus and optioned LHP Kyle Crockett to the same club. ... Baltimore placed RHP Tommy Hunter (groin strain) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Preston Guilmet. ... Chris Davis will likely be out Sunday and Monday on paternity leave while doctors induce labour on the first basemans wife, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ... Jones has reached safely in 16 straight games. ... Baltimores Zach Britton blanked Cleveland in the 9th and 10th innings, his 10th consecutive scoreless outing. China NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Online Stitched Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Outlet College Jerseys For Sale Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys For Sale Wholesale NFL Jerseys
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