Lions hope young Marx will be red hot
26 Nov 2013
PROMISING hooker Malcolm Marx is one of the numerous young players who have joined the Lions in preparing for a big comeback to Super Rugby in 2014.
There is great excitement about the potential of Marx, who was last year’s SA Schools hooker, and much is expected of him during the 2014 campaign. It is no surprise that he has been called on so early to train with the senior players.
At this stage Marx is merely part of the enlarged Lions training squad, which will drastically decrease before the preparations for Super Rugby starts in earnest in January.
The group will already be cut somewhat at the end of this week and the players will sweat it out in Johanneburg until December 20 when they get a welcome break for the festive season.
Youngsters such as Marx and the loose forwards Steph de Wit, Ruaan Lerm and Cyle Brink, now have the opportunity to gain valuable practice time with veteran players such as Franco van der Merwe, Willie Wepener, Bees Roux, Derick Minnie and Warren Whitely.
Another new face in the preliminary Lions group is that of prop Charles Marais, who played Vodacom Cup rugby this year for the Free State Cheetahs, as well as the Shimlas and Griffons.
Marais received a call-up from the Lions to see whether he could add value to the team next year.
Talented backline players such as Jaco van der Walt (flyhalf) and Harold Vorster (centre) have also been brought into the bigger group to benefit further under the wings of the stalwarts Deon van Rensburg, Alwyn Hollenbach, Elton Jantjies and Michael Bondesio.
Permanent Lions acquisitions who are already under the watchful eyes of coach Johan Ackermann are Vainon Willis (Bulls), Courtnall Skosan (Bulls), Willie du Plessis (Bulls), Ricky Schroeder (WP), Thabo Mamojele (Kings), MB Lusaseni (Leopards) and Schalk van der Merwe (Free State).
Among the players who have said goodbye to the Lions are Lionel Cronjé, who will play for the Brumbies and CJ van der Linde, who will soon play for London Irish in England. Hooker Martin Bezuidenhout and lock Stephan Greeff have not been offered contracts and could play for Western Province and the Leopards respectively next year.
The enlarged Lions training squad is
Fullbacks: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Ruhan Nel, Kobus de Kock.
Wings: Anthony Volmink, Deon van Rensburg, Deon Helberg, Chrysander Botha, Vainon Willis, Courtnall Skosan, Luther Obi (Leopards).
Centres: Lionel Mapoe, Alwyn Hollenbach, Stokkies Hanekom, Dylan des Fountain, Robert de
Bruyn, Harold Vorster, Stefan Watermeyer (Pumas), Adriaan Engelbrecht (Leopards).
Flyhalfs: Elton Jantjies, Marnitz Boshoff, Willie du Plessis, Jaco van der Walt.
Scrumhalfs: Michael Bondesio, Ross Cronjé, Guy Cronjé, Ricky Schroeder, Faf de Klerk (Pumas).
Loose forwards: Derick Minnie, Warren Whiteley, Jaco Kriel, Willie Britz, Warwick Tecklenburg, Lambert Groenewald, Thabo Mamojele, Ruaan Lerm, Steph de Wit, Cyle Brink.
Locks: Franco van der Merwe, Martin Muller, Franco Mostert, Chris van Zyl, Hugo Kloppers, Rudi Mathee (Pumas), MB Lusaseni.
Props: Jacques van Rooyen, Ruan Dreyer, Bees Roux, Schalk van der Merwe, Julian Redelinghuys, Corné Fourie (Pumas), Charles Marais (Free State).
Hookers: Willie Wepener, Malcolm Marx, Robbie Coetzee, Mark Pretorius.