Super Rugby travelling format will test us - Marx
Johannesburg - Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx believes a return to the ‘old format’ of travelling for four weeks at a time during this year’s Super Rugby series will certainly test the Lions’ hopes in the competition.
The return to the 15 team format means that teams will once again travel through Australia and New Zealand, and will return to month long tours in some cases to make or break their campaigns in the competition, according to the supersport.com website.
Marx may have risen to stardom for his performances in the competition and in the Springbok jersey of late, but he hasn’t undergone that mental challenges that such a lengthy tour has on South African teams, and is looking forward to experiencing it first hand.
“I didn’t play under the old format. I started playing under the Australia, New Zealand split. But I think this will test us on a different level. Playing New Zealand teams puts you on a certain level and playing Australian teams puts you on a certain level. I think playing against both will be a different challenge but we will obviously learn and see how things go,” he said.
“We only travel after the first nine weeks. Travel, well we have one of the best medical staffs who sort us out beyond belief, they tell us how to travel, what we need to do and when to do it, what we need to take and what we don’t need to take in order for us to be ready when we arrive to be at our best.”
Marx was the big winner at the Lions awards on Saturday, taking home the coveted Player of the Year award, as well as the Super Rugby Player of the Year award, the Players’ Player of the year award, the Supporters Player of the Year award and the Most Valued Player of the Year award in a relative clean sweep of the awards ceremony.
Still, the bullocking hooker was humble in receiving the awards, which came as team-mates Julian Redelinghuys and Jacques van Rooyen serenaded him onto the stage with a special “song” for the occasion.
“It’s really great, but I think I have to give credit to my team-mates and coaches, because without them it is nothing. It’s not just an award for me, but I think it is an award for the team, because if it wasn’t for the team I wouldn’t be in this situation I’ve been in,” Marx said afterwards.
The hooker wants to be more consistent as a player, and isn’t concerned that he may well be a marked man now.
“I’d like to be more consistent as a player, me personally. Last year was tough as was the year before for the Springboks but we will move onwards and upwards from there. Obviously the training field is where we do it, and we’re obviously trying to improve ourselves every day.
“Not necessarily. I’m just going to focus on my job, and on the aspects I can improve on every day and if I’m marked, so be it. But it’s a team sport, so they can’t just watch me, they have to watch the other 14 guys on the field as well.”
Marx also said fans should expect the same brand of rugby from the Lions, and that he was looking forward to doing his talking on the field.
“We play to inspire and we play for our fans, and that has always been our motto at the Lions. Coach Swys has seen what coach Ackers and JP did. Training has been going really well and obviously there is always room for improvement, but I can’t really count my chickens before they hatch, but things have been going well. We’ll obviously have to see when Super Rugby starts, coach Swys has been doing a good job but we will see what happens when Super Rugby starts.”
With 2018 being a watershed year with England arriving for three Tests and a new Springbok coach in the offing, Marx will be keenly watched as he takes the next step in his career.
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