Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

Boks will miss Marx’s ‘joy and love’

- MIKE GREENAWAY mike.greenaway@inl.co.za

BONGI Mbonambi, the Springbok captain for tomorrow’s match against Romania and Malcolm Marx’s long-standing rival, has quantified just how much of a loss Marx is to the Boks’ World Cup campaign.

Mbonambi has been the starting hooker for most of the last two years but this season Marx has been in outstandin­g form and has played his way to the front of the hooker queue. Marx was magnificen­t against the All Blacks a few weeks back and last week against Scotland, only to suffer a serious injury in a training ground incident.

“It’s a really big loss for us as a team, not just on the field but off it,” Mbonambi said.

“He brings a lot of joy and a lot of love. It’s always a major blow when a freak accident happens like that. Rugby is a contact sport and most injuries happen during a game but the most freakish and out-of-control injuries actually happen during training.

“It’s what happened to Malcolm and it has also happened to me. You never know when it’s going to happen so you just try and do your job to the best of your ability, enjoy the rugby, and make all the memories that you can.”

Tomorrow, Mbonambi will be leading the team for the second time. He took the reins in Buenos Aires last month for a successful warm-up match when Siya Kolisi was still injured.

The Boks were very impressive in that game and Mbonambi enjoyed the responsibi­lity.

“It’s always a massive honour and privilege to captain the Springboks, especially on the world stage. I still don’t have words for it. Being in a team like this that’s so experience­d, all that wisdom makes my job easier on the day. I’m really looking forward to this opportunit­y against Romania.”

Finally, Mbonambi was asked the offbeat question of how he fuels himself for a big game. His secret? “My go-to meal is spaghetti bolognaise.”

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