Victor Matfield says that he is settling into life at Franklin’s Gardens and has enjoyed it so far as a Saints player.
The Springbok legend arrived in the East Midlands once his national and Barbarians commitments had been completed, and after a couple of weeks of training made his first two appearances off the bench in the Aviva Premiership wins over Gloucester and Bath.
Ahead of this week’s European Rugby Champions Cup trip to Paris Matfield sat down for an extended interview with the Saints’ podcast, in which he discussed the differing ways of playing rugby in the northern and southern hemispheres, how playing for the Barbarians helps him adjust to the way new teams play, and his experiences in France from his time at Toulon.
But more importantly he says that he has been made to feel welcome by the club and its supporters.
“I’m getting there,” he says. “My family came over two weeks ago, and we’re starting to find our feet over here. I’m still getting in to the team culture, the style of play, the way we do things, so I’ve been in the background a little bit just taking everything in, seeing how things work and hopefully I can get a bit more into it over the next few weeks and hopefully make a difference.
“We’ve had two good wins since I’ve been involved. We had a great win down in Bath against a couple of my mates from the Springboks.
“It’s different conditions, it’s obviously a completely different game from what we’re used to in the southern hemisphere. It’s very physical over here, the set piece is very important which is a little bit different but I’m very much enjoying it.”
You can hear the full interview, along with extended chats with forwards coach Dorian West, hooker Mikey Haywood and prop Kieran Brookes, at www.soundcloud.com/official-saints-rugby