Schalk Brits believes that Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx may cause England a few headaches at the breakdowns at Twickenham on Saturday.
Speaking to the media in London on Tuesday, Marx said Brits had added a lot of value since joining the Bok squad earlier in the season. The young hooker confirmed that he and Bongi Mbonambi had learned a lot from the 37-year-old veteran, who played for English club Saracens between 2009 and 2018.
Marx said the Boks will have to be wary of England at the breakdown. When Brits was asked about the battle at the rucks, however, he suggested that the hosts should be more worried about the likes of Marx causing problems.
‘I think he’s phenomenal,’ Brits told the Telegraph. ‘I don’t like to put a pecking order on anything [regarding who is the best in the world] but what I can say is that his mentality is right and he has a great work ethic. If he keeps that up, there’s no reason why he can’t get even better than he is already.
‘I like looking at the stats, and he makes one of the highest amounts of turnovers in our team. Purely from that perspective, and with the rules going the way they are, to have that kind of player making that amount of turnovers says something about his capability around the ruck.
‘He’s given not just the All Blacks but all teams from Super Rugby to international level a headache. If you can win a penalty in these weather conditions, the territorial battle is a big part of the game, and a player like Malcolm adds another dimension.
‘I’ve always said from when I started playing rugby that your hooker can be your extra loose forward. Nobody wants to play with slow ball, it’s always quick ball, and that’s why I think the role of the hooker has changed in the past 15 years.’
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