Sun, 01 Aug 2021

Despite not playing Test rugby since the 2019 World Cup, Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx says there's no fear in the camp ahead of the British & Irish Lions series.

With Covid-19 wreaking havoc across the globe, the Springboks have not played any Test rugby since beating England 32-12 in the World Cup final on 2 November 2019.

Two Tests against Georgia will be South Africa's only preparation before facing the Lions but Marx is not perturbed by those questioning their readiness.

"For me personally, not really," he responded when proved on the matter during an online press conference on Monday. "It's a world pandemic, so we at least have the benefit of doubt. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to play and that's something we'll have to deal with. But for me personally, no [there's no fear]."

Marx is one of five Japan-based players in the Bok squad, with the others being Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Jesse Kriel and Willie le Roux.

He acknowledged that the game was different in Japan and the players would like to use the Georgia Tests to see where they're at physically.

"The game over there is extremely quick - I'm not saying it's not physical, it's still a challenge but just a different type of challenge," Marx said.

"But we'll just have to see what happens... if we're selected for the Tests against Georgia, to see where we are physically and fitness wise."

When probed on how he's coped from a psychological perspective in Japan, Marx responded:

"It's been really good, it's a great experience. I didn't know what to expect going there after the World Cup. But obviously being there for the World Cup made it a really good experience. It's a great place to live. I'm learning different things there, so psychologically it's been pretty good."

The Boks tackle Georgia in Pretoria on 2 July, before the second Test in Johannesburg on 9 July.

The first Test against the Lions is in Cape Town on 24 July.

Source: News24

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