Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is thrilled with the current form of world class hooker Malcolm Marx, and is excited by the return of the bomb squad ahead of their Rugby Championship clash against Argentina at Kings Park Stadium on Saturday.
Marx has been in immense form for the Boks this season, picking up man-of-the-match awards against the All Blacks in Mbombela, and against Argentina in Buenos Aires this past weekend where he also scored two tries.
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Marx has also played the full 80 minutes of the past two games as the Boks went with Deon Fourie as the backup hooker, but he will most likely get a break this coming weekend due to the return from injury of Bongi Mbonambi.
“I think Malcolm is world class and luckily for us we now get Bongi back. Obviously he hasn’t played for a couple of weeks, so hopefully we can build up some conditioning and game time for him on Saturday,” said Nienaber.
“But it’s nice to almost have the bomb squad back together again. We can now try and hit the end of year tour with an almost bomb squad mentality again.
“But Malcom has been excellent (this season). He has put in some big shifts in the last few games and rightfully he has been rewarded.”
The Boks will be playing in front of a sold out crowd at Kings Park this weekend, which will be the perfect way to end off what has been a superb run of sold out home games over the international season so far.
“We are very excited. I don’t think in all my years that I’ve been at a Kings Park that is completely sold out. So personally I am looking forward to it, but the players are as well. We are going to do everything in our power to put in a proper performance to thank them,” said Nienaber.
“We believe that if our performance is of a high quality it might put us in a position to win the game and then if things go our way we might be able to win the Rugby Championship.”
But Nienaber is keenly aware of the danger of Argentina, who upset the All Blacks in New Zealand for the first time in their history just a few weeks ago, and has likened the game to a final.
“I think we can expect a game like a final from them. I think they have one of the best lineouts in the competition if you look at success rate. They have a good maul and have scored some good tries through it,” said Nienaber.
“They have a good set piece. I think they had our number in the scrums, so that’s something that we will have to work hard on. They are still in with a shout of winning the Rugby Championship.
“They gave Australia 50 points and they beat New Zealand away from home for the first time. So they will be a tough team and I expect nothing more than a final.
“But for us an Argentina we will both know what we will need to do to win the Rugby Championship so that does help us.”