Malcolm Marx isn’t known as a particularly talkative guy.
He even admits it.
“To be honest, if I have nothing to say, I’m not going to say anything just for the sake of it.”
It’s not a characteristic that’s usually associated with rugby captains, but the bruising Springbok hooker has assured all that he’ll speak up when he needs to in Saturday’s Super Rugby derby against the Bulls at Ellis Park.
Marx was, on Thursday, unveiled as the mildly surprising choice as the Lions’ stand-in skipper in the absence of the injured Warren Whiteley.
“Well, I kinda talk to a referee in every game as a hooker. If he has an issue with a scrum or a breakdown, I’m pretty much always asking him about it,” he said.
“I also have a lot of leaders around me. They’ll also advise me when I have to chat to the referee.”
That minimalist approach will also help him maintain his own high standards as a player despite the new burden of the captaincy.
“Look, chatting to the ref is only one side of the role. But overall, I’m not going to talk much and say unnecessary things. Just playing the game is the most important thing,” said Marx.
“As a leader, I want to lead by action. Actions speak louder than words.”
The move will raise a few eyebrows given the fact that flyhalf Elton Jantjies is the official vice-captain.
But coach Swys de Bruin admits he’s in the business of “making the right choice, not the popular one”.
“He has the pedigree. He has the right aura to speak to referees. He’s a quiet guy,” he said.
“He’ll get the team going and Elton will be making the on-field calls. This is a choice that causes minimal disruption.”
Lions: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Nic Groom, Hacjivah Dayimani, Kwagga Smith, Marnus Schoeman, Stephan Lewies, Rhyno Herbst, Carlu Sadie, Malcolm Marx (c), Dylan Smith. Bench: Pieter Jansen, Sti Sithole, Frans van Wyk, Robert Kruger, Vince Tshituka, Ross Cronje, Franco Naude, Courtnall Skosan.