JJ Hanrahan will be joined by a South African legend at Northampton

38-year-old Victor Matfield will move to the Premiership side post-World Cup.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS HAVE announced the signing of legendary South African second row Victor Matfield ahead of the 2015/16 season.

The 38-year-old is currently preparing for the World Cup with the Springboks for the fourth time in his career, but will move to the Premiership club after his involvement in the global tournament.

Victor Matfield celebrates Matfield is heading into his fourth World Cup. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Matfield has already won 123 caps for South Africa, meaning he will add huge experience to a Northampton side that also contains Irishman JJ Hanrahan after his summer move from Munster.

The lock captained the Bulls to three Super Rugby titles in almost 15 years with the South African franchise.

Matfield retired from rugby soon after the 2011 World Cup and moved into coaching with the Bulls, but made a return to playing in 2014 with a view to once again being involved with the Springboks.

Victor is one of the outstanding forwards in world rugby,” said Northampton head coach Jim Mallinder of the new signing.

“He has 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.”

Paul O'Connell and Victor Matfield after the match Matfield was in Dublin last November. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Matfield indicated that he was previously close to joining the Saints earlier in his career and stated his excitement at the latest challenge in his remarkable rugby adventure.

“It is an honour for me to join the Northampton Saints,” said Matfield. “Seven years ago Saints very nearly became my rugby home and I feel privileged to be given another opportunity to join the club.

I join Saints to make the best contribution I possibly can and I have 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.”

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Murray Kinsella

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