Malcolm Marx not taking for granted second World Cup call

  • By Kate Nokwe

  • 12th August 2023

Malcolm Marx not taking for granted second World Cup call

Malcolm Marx may be an obvious inclusion in the 33-man World Cup squad for France next month, but for the Springbok hooker, a call-up to the team is a privilege he does not take for granted.

Marx and Bongi Mbonambi are the only genuine No 2s in the squad, while versatile forward Deon Fourie is the backup. The former Lions forward has primarily been a key member of the infamous ‘bomb squad' expected to save or finish games, while Mbonambi started for the majority of games in the past four years. He tells SABC Sport he had to work hard to earn his second appearance at the World Cup.

"Always an honour and a privilege to be selected to represent your country. It's obviously a dream come true and it continues to be. I'm obviously lost for words. I know the competition that's in the squad, you obviously have to be at the top of your game, train well and perform well. I can't really rely on previous performances to sort of get me into the team, I know that every game and every training session I'll obviously be trying to be at my best," Marx said.

Bok coach Jacques Nienaber has earmarked the opening game against Scotland as the most critical match of their World Cup campaign. Marx believes the two preparatory matches before that game will ensure they are ready to face the fifth-placed nation, who recently defeated World Cup hosts, ranked two places higher.

"We're just taking it week by week. We've got Wales coming up (19 August) and then we've got New Zealand (25 August). So, we take those weeks by week and try and prepare the best that we can. So, that we can produce the best that we can on the weekend. It's obviously the first game of the tournament and you obviously wanna start things well. They're a great side and obviously, all the games in our group [including world number Ireland] and all of that are gonna be extremely tough. We've gotta prepare well and make sure we are focused and switched on."