The September issue of SA Rugby magazine celebrates the immense value of Malcolm Marx who marked his 50th appearance for the Springboks with a man-of-the-match performance.
The 28-year-old powerhouse is set to finish up among the Bok centurions after making his milestone achievement in the Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks in Nelspruit.
But, with Bongi Mbonambi having hogged the Bok No 2 jersey in recent years, roughly half of Marx’s Test caps have been earned off the wood.
And while he was central to the Lions’ Super Rugby surge under Johan Ackermann, in 2020 he relocated office to the less attritional climes of Japan’s Top League.
By the time Marx takes over the starting job after the 2023 World Cup, he will be like a 2019 Toyota Hilux that’s only taken out of the garage on Sunday afternoons and special occasions – the odometer will defy the model year on the licence disc. And, like a Hilux, Marx is a serious all-terrain operator against all obstacles.
Rated among the best rakes in the modern game, Marx is playing the long game with his career and the Boks are set to reap the rewards.
“I started playing with Malcolm when he was still a boy at the Lions … his ball-carrying and strength over the ball was always there but he wasn’t always the most accurate thrower when he started off,” said Bok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk.
“But he works so incredibly hard on it and I can’t remember when last he missed a lineout. His work rate and off-the-field work is immense.
“He’s a great guy and everyone loves him, he’s a big teddy bear but once he puts a Springbok jersey on he becomes an animal.
“Really proud of him … not so happy he’s overtaken me with the caps but it’s great for him and think he’s going to play a lot more Tests for the Springboks.”
Photo: Marty Melville/AFP