DURBAN – Twenty Test matches into his Springbok career, Malcolm Marx is recognised by most of the rugby world to be the best hooker on the planet ... despite never having played against England, many a pompous Pom would argue.
Sir Clive Woodward, an England World Cup winning coach, is not one of them, having recently sung Marx’s praises. Then there was the English journalist who asked Marx if he was looking forward to gauging himself against Dylan Harltey and Jamie George. Marx was sufficiently polite to sing his opposition’s praises.
“I have not played against either of them. My only experience of playing against England was when their Under-18 team toured South Africa. Obviously I have had a good look at my potential opposition but my main job is to keep improving as a player so I can make maximum contribution to my team. But I have great respect for them.
“If I have had any personal success it is because of the success of the team they have put me into positions to do well. So the team gets the credit.”
Spoken like a scholar and a gentleman and a diplomat.
Marx missed England’s tour in June because of an injury picked up in Super Rugby before returning to the Bok starting lineup for the victory over the All Blacks in Wellington, scoring his fourth Test try and second against New Zealand in that triumph.
“The All Blacks are in the past. Now have to keep working on towards the next goal, and that is England on Saturday,” he said.