Despite being called the Springboks’ new human bulldozer for obvious reasons, Malcolm Marx never makes assumptions.
For instance, he never just assumed he would become the first choice hooker for the Springboks just because former captain Adriaan Strauss retired.
After all, the imposing No 2 still had to cement his place in the Lions side ahead of quality teammates Robbie Coetzee and Akker van der Merwe.
“Not even after Adriaan retired did I take anything for granted. I first had to secure my spot in the Lions Super Rugby squad,” said Marx in Umhlanga ahead of the Springboks’ second Test against France at Kings Park on Saturday.
“Every year is a new year. There are new opportunities and new guys coming onto the scene. I knew I had to work hard and adding as much value as I could.”
In his first Test-start at Loftus last week after earning two caps from the bench, the 22-year-old Marx terrorised the French with his bruising runs and poaching at the breakdowns.
It reminded all of former Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis, whom Marx admits is one of his idols.
“I aimed to play the way he used to when I moved to hooker from loose forward in matric. He was the guy I wanted to model myself on. Obviously I want to be player in my own right but there’s nothing wrong with using Bismarck as a yardstick.”
South African rugby fans can also be grateful for Marx’s Alma mater, KES, deciding to play more attacking rugby.
It was that new direction that actually led to his switch.
“I was a 7 at school but with my coaches at KES moving to a more expansive game, they thought I might make out a good No 2,” said Marx,
But he admits this weekend’s battle is a completely new ball-game.
“I’m definitely happy with last week’s performance but it’s in the past now, we have a new hurdle to jump over this week and just trying to build on the momentum this week.
“There’s no perfect game ever. I’m a student of the game and just want to get better every week.”