Cape Town - Jamie George says England must nullify talisman hooker
Malcolm Marx in order to beat South Africa in their first November Test on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 17:00 SA time.
According to the official England Rugby website, it will be the fourth time this year that Eddie Jones’ men face the
Springboks, having lost their June series 2-1, and George
is motivated by the challenge of taking on someone he sees as the best
player in his position in the world.
“Marx is a brilliant player, a talisman for them, and very physical
player that offers a lot around the loose. His set piece is also very
good,” said the Saracen.
“If we can nullify the positive aspects of his
game then we will go a long way to winning it.
“I want to be the best hooker in the world, and you need to challenge yourself against the best players out there.”
George started all three Tests against Rassie Erasmus’ side in mid-year - a series Marx was not part of - and he will be hoping to
improve his 50% win ratio against the Springboks come Saturday.
“It’s probably what we need as a forward pack,” explained the 28-year-old.
“We’ve spoken a lot about how they pride themselves, throughout
history really, on their lineout and scrum as the heart of their rugby
performance. It’s going to be a big test for us but having them up first
is what we need; it switches us on.”
“These guys are talented, strong, keen and have instilled us with a
lot of confidence so there is no worries about being inexperienced; they
are ready to rip in,” he added.
“They are going to have some new
players, we are going to have some new players, and it is a good
opportunity to start the autumn off well.”
South Africa are a team in form, having finished second in the Rugby
Championship, after two sublime performances against the All Blacks.
They recorded a 36-34 away win over New Zealand, before
being pipped in the final moments of the return fixture 32-30.
“South Africa are such a physical team one to 15, no matter who they
pick they pride themselves on that and we are aware of it,” added
“Despite the fact we played a few months ago this is a new season, a
fresh start, and to be able to put in a good performance against a
strong South Africa team is going to put us in good stead going forward
for the three games after.”
The hooker has more Test caps than eight of his forward counterparts retained by head coach Jones earlier this week put together, but insists the lack of experience up front is not an issue.