Home Sport Malcolm out to make his Marx for Springboks against Wales

Malcolm out to make his Marx for Springboks against Wales

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No one will be more eager to return to the field than Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx after a World Cup injury ruled him out of the Japanese club season.

Malcolm Marx during the Springbok Training Session at the Loftus Stadium B Field, Pretoria on the 18 June 2024. Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

THERE will be some expected growing pains at Twickenham for the Springboks on Saturday afternoon, but the opening Test against Wales should provide more answers than questions for Rassie Erasmus and his players.

In their opening Test of the year, the Boks will take on an inexperienced Wales outfit in London (3pm SA time), and although they are also without some stars, the world champions will want to set an early standard by dominating proceedings.

For several players, Saturday’s duel against the Dragons can set the tone for their season and how they will fit into the returning Erasmus’ plans as he builds a squad for the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

No one will be more eager to return to the field than Bok hooker Malcolm Marx after a World Cup injury ruled him out of the Japanese club season.

He hasn’t played rugby since picking up a knee injury during training in France in September.

Starting Marx will give Erasmus and his assistants the ability to manage his playing time, especially in an expected physical battle with the Welsh. If it is up to the hooker he will want to play for as long as he can to prove his fitness ahead of the Irish Test series next month.

Marx’s scrummaging and line-outs will be keenly watched, but his tackling presence at the breakdown and the strong ball-carries will be needed.

Then, there is his battle with Welsh hooker and captain Dewi Lake.

They had choice words for each other when Marx gestured to Lake to “bring it” when the British and Irish Lions toured in 2022.

Apart from Marx, No.8 Evan Roos has unfinished business at Twickers. In his last match for South Africa – at the same venue – he injured his ribs against England, after which he picked up a knee injury that robbed him of the chance to vie for a World Cup spot.

He has since shown tremendous growth at the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship.

There is a Bok No.8 jersey up for grabs against Ireland, and he will be keen to put his best foot forward in the absence of World Cup winner Jasper Wiese, who is suspended.

For debutants Jordan Hendrikse and Edwill van der Merwe, it will be an opportunity to make their mark as the Lions’ first Springboks for a while.

In the absence of the Boks’ regular flyhalves, Handré Pollard and Manie Libbok, Hendrikse can keep his name in the conversation with a solid performance on debut.

The 22-year-old is not just a good attacker who looks for space, but he has an good kicking boot on him and solid defence in the 10-12 channel.

Van der Merwe finally gets his breakthrough after years of grinding, and although the Springboks sport some dangerous wings who are currently injured, a good debut will only grow his stocks.

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