Boks suffer massive blow as Marx ruled out of World Cup
The defending champions have opted to not call up a replacement at this stage.
Malcolm Marx has been ruled out of the rest of the Rugby World Cup. Picture: Dave Rowland/Getty Images
The Springboks have suffered a major blow just two weeks into the 2023 Rugby World Cup with key hooker Malcolm Marx ruled out of the rest of the tournament.
Marx suffered a knee injury in training on Wednesday that will sideline him for several weeks.
The 2019 World Cup winner was not included in coach Jacques Nienaber’s matchday squad to face Romania in Bordeaux on Sunday. Bongi Mbonambi was picked at hooker and as captain with 36-year-old Deon Fourie as his back-up.
With the Springboks having the luxury of a 33-man squad in France, and sufficient cover at hooker within the squad, Marx will not be replaced in the squad at this stage, SA Rugby said in a statement.
Cover at hooker
“First and foremost, we are extremely disappointed for Malcolm, and we wish him all the best in his recovery,” said Nienaber.
“He’s been working very hard to be in the best form possible for the tournament, and it’s tragic that his campaign has ended this way.
“As a team we will remain in contact with him, as we do with all injured players such as Lukhanyo (Am), Handre (Pollard) and Lood (de Jager), and support him as much as we can through the recovery process.
“We have enough cover at hooker with Bongi (Mbonambi) and Deon (Fourie) in the squad, while Marco (van Staden) has also been training there and has been named on all our team sheets so far as a hooker option.
“We’ll assess our needs for the rest of the tournament and confirm who we are calling up as an additional player later this week.”
Etzebeth also out
The Springboks, who are based in Toulon, will depart for Bordeaux on Thursday afternoon where they will continue their preparations for Sunday’s round two encounter against Romania at Stade de Bordeaux.
The Boks are also currently without lock enforcer Eben Etzebeth, who hurt his shoulder in last weekend’s win against Scotland. The management team have suggested the veteran second row forward will be out of action for between seven and 10 days.