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Rugby | Springboks

Malcolm Marx © Gallo Images

Marx says he needs to work even harder

He may have been crowned SA Rugby’s Player of the Year on Friday afternoon, but Bok hooker Malcolm Marx believes he needs to work even harder this year to keep his place in the national side.

Many may scoff at the thought of the hooker ever losing his place, but Marx was humble and focused as he received his award from Saru president Mark Alexander in Johannesburg.

“Obviously I’m thankful, humbled at the same time but then again like I’ve said before this couldn’t have been done if it wasn’t for my teammates and my coaches – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be on the field, so this award has to go out to them,” Marx said at a press conference held to announce the award.

“Definitely, every year is a new year and a week in rugby is a long time, obviously we will see what happens then,” he added.

Marx reiterated he would have to work on his consistency and that would be his focus in this year’s Super Rugby series.

“There is always room for improvement in my opinion. I’ve always strived to be better in everything I’ve done, whether its small or its big, its those little one percenters that can make me better on the weekend.

“I’m just focusing on my own job, I’m not going to worry about anything else around it. My own job is my job at the end of the day. I can’t get ahead of myself. 2018 is a new year and obviously I have to work harder.

“Obviously with a new year and new beginnings anything can happen. A new guy could jump onto the scene as it happens every single year. Like I said next week Super Rugby starts and we will see what happens up until June and see what happens then.”

Marx won two other awards other than the main one as the 23-year-old star from the Emirates Lions was also named the SA Rugby Young Player (U23) and Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year for 2017.

Marx, who retained the Young Player of the Year award he won in 2016, is the first player since Ashwin Willemse in 2003 to win the prestigious SA Rugby Player and Young Player of the Year Awards in the same season.

“This is a magnificent achievement for Malcolm and on behalf of the entire South African rugby fraternity, I would like to congratulate him on a superb season,” said SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander.

“Malcolm was a rock for both the Springboks and the Emirates Lions and at only 23 I’m sure he will still go on to accomplish big things in our game.”

The Springbok Sevens team and their coach, Neil Powell, were also rewarded for a sterling season in which they won the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series by winning the awards for Team and Coach of the Year. The fleet-footed Rosko Specman was named Springbok Sevens Player of the Year.

“Neil and his band of Blitzbok brothers made us all very proud last year and these awards are very well deserved,” said Mr Alexander.

Juarno Augustus, who was named the World Rugby U20 Championship Player of the Tournament last June, won the award for Junior Springbok Player of the Year.

Recently-capped Springbok Warrick Gelant, who also represented the Blitzboks and Junior Springboks earlier in his career, was the Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year, and the Down Touch Griffons’ Jaun Kotze won the accolade for the First Division.

Craig Barry from DHL Western Province, who is currently playing for the Toyota Cheetahs in the Guinness PRO14, was named SuperSport Challenge Player of the Year, and Babalwa Latsha, also from WP, won the Women’s Achiever of the Year award.

Jaco Peyper, who refereed the first test between the All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions, as well as the Vodacom Super Rugby and the Currie Cup Premier Division finals, was named the Outsurance Referee of the Year.

“Well done to all the winners on their achievements in 2017. Judging by these performances, and the fact that we’re busy turning the corner, I can’t wait for this year’s action,” said Mr Alexander.


SA Rugby Player of the Year: Malcolm Marx

Other nominees: Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Jan Serfontein

SA Rugby Young Player of the Year: Malcolm Marx

Other nominees: Curwin Bosch, Jean-Luc du Preez, Warrick Gelant, Damian Willemse

Team of the Year: Springbok Sevens

Other nominees: Emirates Lions, DHL Western Province

Coach of the Year: Neil Powell

Other nominees: Johan Ackermann, John Dobson

Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Rosko Specman

Other nominees: Chris Dry, Werner Kok

Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Juarno Augustus

Other nominees: Curwin Bosch, Damian Willemse

Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Tournament: Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions)

Other nominees: Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert (both Emirates Lions)

Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

Other nominees: Nizaam Carr, Robert du Preez (both DHL Western Province)

Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Jaun Kotze (Down Touch Griffons)

Other nominees: Tertius Maarman (Down Touch Griffons), Jeandré Rudolph (Leopards)

SuperSport Rugby Challenge Player of the Year:

Craig Barry (DHL Western Province)

Other nominees: Enver Brandt (Tafel Lager Griquas), Shaun Reynolds (Xerox Golden Lions XV)

Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament

Sanele Nohamba (KwaZulu-Natal)

Outsurance Referee of the Year

Jaco Peyper

Women’s Achiever of the Year

Babalwa Latsha (Western Province)


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