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DURBAN - Victor Matfield's first press conference as Springboks rugby captain was more notable for what he didn't say.

Manager Zola Yeye, the most regularly seen member of the Springboks squad this week, ordered no questions on issues not related to tomorrow's Tri-Nations test against the All Blacks here.

That silenced the biggest talking point, French newspaper reports he was set to join former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga at second division club Toulon after the World Cup.

French sports newspaper L'Equipe reported Matfield, 30, will join the Mediterranean coast side on a one-year contract in November. South African reports said he would return for the Bulls in next year's Super 14, the tournament in which he led them to victory last month.

Umaga was recently confirmed as general manager of the Toulon side which will also include former All Black Andrew Mehrtens and Wallabies halfback George Gregan in their bid to return to the top division.

Matfield, who plays his 58th test tomorrow, becomes the first lock in 40 years to captain the Springboks in the absence of John Smit who strained a hamstring last weekend.

"I think the last two World Cup winners were locks as captains," he said with a grin.

"It's a great privilege for me to lead the team."

There was also time for a little controversy, with Matfield taking issue with claims from the All Blacks and Wallabies in the past week that Springboks tighthead prop BJ Botha scrummages illegally. All Blacks hooker Anton Oliver said Botha bored in on the angle "every now and again".

"It's easy for other teams to say a tighthead's scrum ends when their loosehead's walking around," Matfield said.

"I don't know if it's (Tony) Woodcock walking around because he's been penalised quite often in the Super 14 for that. It's a fine line and hopefully the ref will pick up who's at fault there."

Irishman Alain Rolland takes the whistle tomorrow.

- NZPA