South Africa have announced Malcolm Marx has been ruled out of the remainder of the Rugby World Cup through injury. The 29-year-old hooker sustained a knee injury in training and will not feature in any of the Springboks’ remaining fixtures, including Sunday’s match against Romania in Bordeaux.
Hooker Malcolm Marx has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a knee injury.
Marx, considered by many to be the best in the world in his position, is a vital part of the world champions’ squad.
Along with Bongi Mbonambi, they formed an interchangeable and imposing combination as the team’s hookers, either starting or coming off the bench.
Marx sustained the injury in training on Wednesday, with scans revealing the extent of the damage on Thursday.
His withdrawal from the squad leaves the Boks with depleted options for the number two jersey – leaving Deon Fourie and Marco van Staden as possible short-term backups to Mbonambi
However, Nienaber’s tone changed when he spoke about how Marx, a critical cog to the Bok forward group, had to undergo a scan and how he wasn’t able to reveal the extent of the injury.
Marx joins Eben Etzebeth on the Springboks’ injury list, with the lock facing a 10-14 day wait for recovery even though Nienaber said he was on the field on Tuesday.
“Malcolm wasn’t selected for this game, so that doesn’t change anything in terms of the selection of this particular game.
“I’m not 100 percent sure, but I don’t think we’re allowed to give out medical information about a player.
“It’ll be better to talk to him, or he gives the doctor the green light, who is probably in a better space to talk and will know more than I do.”
However, South Africa also selected 36-year-old utility forward Deon Fourie in its squad, who can play hooker as well as his most recent position of flanker. He had already been picked to be the reserve hooker against Romania.
Nienaber said that loose forward Marco van Staden also had previous experience at No. 2 and might be called on to play there.
“We have enough cover at hooker with Bongi (Mbonambi) and Deon (Fourie) in the squad, while Marco (van Staden) has also been training there and has been named on all our team sheets so far as a hooker option,” Nienaber said.
“We’ll assess our needs for the rest of the tournament and confirm who we are calling up as an additional player later this week.
“First and foremost, we are extremely disappointed for Malcolm and we wish him all the best in his recovery.”
South Africa said the injury replacement for Marx wouldn’t join the squad immediately as it had sufficient cover for now.