Could Marx be next Bismarck?
Cape Town - Lions coach Johan Ackermann believes hooker Malcolm Marx could become the next Bismarck du Plessis.
The 20-year-old Marx was the surprise selection when Ackermann named his Super Rugby team for Friday's clash against the Hurricanes in Johannesburg.
Marx was named in the Lions starting team for the clash, with Armand van der Merwe on the bench.
Marx represented the Baby Boks at the Junior World Championship last year but sustained a knee injury in their second match which ruled him out for six weeks. He then returned to play for the Golden Lions in the Under-19 domestic competition.
Standing 1.88m tall and weighing in at 119kg, compared to Du Plessis's 1.89m and 112kg, Marx draws some comparisons with the Springbok hooker.
"He is very young, but he could definitely become the next Bismarck," Ackermann told Netwerk24. "He worked really hard at his fitness in pre-season. He's moveable, but still as strong as an ox."
Ackermann said Marx, a former loose forward, will be vital to their cause this year.
"Malcolm's biggest asset is his versatility. He's improved his scrummaging and lineouts, but we're very excited about his ability to, like Bismarck, attack the breakdowns. Our game plan depends on quick ball possession and an extra fetcher is vital."
Kick-off for Friday's clash at Emirates Airline Park is scheduled for 19:10.
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Derick Minnie, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Schalk van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Jacques van Rooyen, 19. Robert Kruger, 20. Warwick Tecklenburg, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Stokkies Hanekom
15 Jason Woodward, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Rey Le-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dan Coles, 1 Ben Franks
Substitutes: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Callum Gibbins, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 James Marshall, 23 Matt Proctor