Marx starts for Boks

Hooker Malcolm Marx will earn his first start for the Springboks against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 22-year-old made his debut in the Boks' Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks in Christchurch in September, but was dropped for the rest of the tournament. Coach Allister Coetzee has, however, opted to rest captain Adriaan Strauss, elevating Marx to the run-on XV. Flyhalf Pat Lambie will take over the captaincy. 

The new-look Bok team features six uncapped players in the starting XV with blindside flank Roelof Smit, lock RG Snyman, wings Jamba Ulengo and Sergeal Petersen and centres Francois Venter and Rohan Janse van Rensburg all set to debut in the green and gold. 

Lambie, Tendai Mtawarira, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Oupa Mohoje are the only survivors from the team that started against the All Blacks in Durban three weeks ago.

The inclusion of scrumhalf Rudy Paige and tighthead prop Lourens Adriaanse are the only other changes.

There are a further three uncapped players – Lizo Gqoboka (prop), Jean-Luc du Preez (loose forward) and Tian Schoeman (flyhalf) – among the reserves, while star winger Ruan Combrinck will return to action via the bench.

'We rewarded several young players for their performances in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup and we will approach this match as a Test, although no caps will be awarded,' said Coetzee.

'The excitement and enthusiasm of the new inclusions are contagious. In ideal circumstances I would’ve preferred to give every player in the squad a run, but this tour was also about introducing players who are on our radar for the future to the Springbok way and ethos,' he added.

Coetzee says he is eager to see how this young Bok side responds to what will be a big challenge against the Barbarians.

'The Barbarians play an attacking, adventurous style of rugby and it will be a real test for our young side.'

Springboks – 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Pat Lambie (c) 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Ruan Combrinck.

Photo: Marty Melville/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams