Lions appoint Matfield as forwards coach

Victor Matfield wins a lineout at the 2015 World Cup. Staff/Getty Images

South Africa's Lions have appointed former Springbok legend Victor Matfield as their new forwards coach, the union confirmed on Thursday.

Matfield is part of a shuffle of the beaten Super Rugby finalists' technical team after the departure of head coach Johan Ackermann to English side Gloucester.

He has been replaced by his assistant Swys de Bruin, who moved into the head coach position, while former defence coach JP Ferreira will now look after the attack and his place taken by Joey Mangalo.

Matfield has little coaching experience, though he was previously a lineout consultant to the Bulls, where he spent most of his two-decade career as a player.

"I love the culture of the Lions and felt I wanted to be a part of it," Matfield told reporters on Thursday.

"I also played under Swys while at Griquas [on loan from the Bulls in 1999-2000] and became a Springbok while under his tutorship."

Former lock Matfield played a record 127 Tests for South Africa and was a Rugby World Cup winner in 2007. His 15-year career with the national team ended with a bronze medal at the 2015 World Cup in England.