Cape Town - Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx has sympathy for sacked Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.
SA Rugby and Coetzee parted ways earlier this month after two tumultuous Springbok seasons which saw the team win only 11 of 25 Tests (44% win record).
Marx, who played all of his 14 Tests under Coetzee, spoke exclusively to Sport24 where he acknowledged the job of national coach was a tough one.
READ: Malcolm Marx chats to Sport24
He said he predicted a good year for the Springboks in 2018, before adding: “I really do feel for Allister Coetzee. It is not an easy job to be a head coach, especially of a national side.”
However, Marx was reluctant to talk too much about the international season which starts for the Boks with a three-Test series in June.
“I’m not focused on Springbok rugby at the moment - at present I am fully focused on my Super Rugby franchise and first want to entrench myself within the Lions team before I think of anything else,” Marx said.
He added: “I can’t take last year for granted and use that this year. This season is a new phase and I need to work harder this year than I did last to try and get myself in a better position. I’m not too fazed about Springbok rugby at the current time because my focus is on my Super Rugby franchise. However, if the opportunity presents itself at Springbok level this year, I will give my best and will always be thankful for the opportunity to play Test match rugby and add to my 14 caps for the Boks. It’s an honour and a privilege to play for South Africa and I am so thankful for every opportunity I get to do what I love. Playing for the Springboks is a great experience that words cannot totally describe.”
Marx was last week honoured with three awards following a sublime season in 2017, including being named the SA Rugby Player of the Year.
The 23-year-old was also named the SA Rugby Young Player (Under-23) and Super Rugby Player of the Year for 2017.