Hooker Malcolm Marx has assured rugby fans there’s still plenty of fight left in the Springboks.
The Boks are just days away from kicking off their 2021 Rugby Championship challenge against Argentina in Gqeberha on Saturday – and that a week after their thrilling – and possibly mentally-draining – series win against the British and Irish Lions.
Marx, though, who played all three Tests from off the bench and formed part of the “bomb squad” said he still had plenty of petrol in the tank going into the Championship.
“It was an amazing feeling winning the Lions series, but the focus is now on the next task,” said Marx on Monday.
“The whole series was unbelievable and sure there are a few sore bodies, while at the same time it was a bit mentally draining.
“But, we didn’t play Test rugby for so long before the series so I’m still hungry to keep going, regardless of a sore body and maybe some being mentally tired.”
One of the big highlights of the Boks’ performance over the three Tests against the Lions was the showing by the forwards who displayed the same physicality as they did at the World Cup in 2019 – just five Test matches ago, because of the inactivity during 2020.
And that without Duane Vermeulen, RG Snyman, Beast Mtawarira, Schalk Brits, Francois Louw and in the last Test Pieter-Steph du Toit.
Assistant Bok coach Deon Davids said he was very proud of the performances of the players.
“It was a tough, competitive series up front, and the guys grew from the Georgia Test,” said Davids.
“It’s a consistent process of trying to improve. But, having so much experience in the side helped a lot. There was a willingness by the players to share knowledge which was so encouraging.”
While Davids didn’t want to single out who he thought was the Boks’ player of the series against the Lions, he was asked about the quality showing of prop Trevor Nyakane, who started the first Test and made a series-changing contribution from off the bench in the last two Tests. He also played as both loosehead and tighthead prop.
“Trevor is a champion; in the sense that whatever task is given to him, he has the right attitude and gives 100%,” said Davids.
“Having a player who can play loosehead and tighthead broadens the depth and provides options.”
The Bok team for the Test against Argentina will be named at lunch-time on Tuesday.