Cape Town - With Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss set to retire from Test rugby, Malcolm Marx is keen to establish himself as South Africa's first-choice hooker.
Marx and Stormers hooker Bongi Mbonambi served as Strauss' deputies this season and the younger duo will be involved in a duel on the Boks' end-of-year tour to Europe to take over from Strauss in 2017.
Marx is brimming with confidence ahead of the tour after he was named as SA Rugby's Young Player of the Year earlier this week.
The 22-year-old said he is using his battle with Mbonambi for the Boks' hooker berth as motivation.
"I don't view it as a duel," he told Netwerk24.
"Yes, both of us want to be in the starting line-up, but the best player must play.
"If it's Bongs, I will accept it but will continue to give my best."
Marx came to the fore with several impressive performances during the Lions' run to the Super Rugby final.
"In many aspects it's been a dream season for me," he added.
"I'm privileged to be part of the Lions family and also became a Springbok sooner than I expected."
The Boks start their year-end tour with a clash against the Barbarians at London’s Wembley Stadium (November 5), followed by Tests against England at Twickenham (November 12), Italy in Florence (November 19) and Wales in Cardiff (November 26).