- Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi was delighted with Malcolm Marx’s performance in a green and gold shirt.
- Marks scored in last week’s 36-20 win and will start against Argentina at Kings Park on Saturday.
- Mbonambi has recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him for just over a month.
Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi has been more than delighted with the contributions of Malcolm Marks as he recovers from a knee injury.
Marks often shadowed Mbonambi, but when Mbonambi suffered a knee injury in the build-up to the second All Black Test at Ellis Park on 13 August, Marks stepped up and more than filled the void.
In Mbonambi’s absence, Marks started with some success, with back-to-back wins against Australia and Argentina for the Boks, recovering from two defeats to the All Blacks in Johannesburg and the Wallabies in Adelaide.
Mbonambi said Marks, who will start in Saturday’s Rugby Championship final against the Pumas at Kings Park and scored in last week’s 36-20 win over Buenos Aires, was world class.
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“Malcolm is playing very well and the competition in the team is very tough,” said Mbonambi.
“We are fighting very hard for places in the team and it is never easy to recover from an injury. It is not easy to return to the team.”
Mbonambi, who has been training this week with a tweaked knee, said there was pressure on them to deliver a trophy they usually didn’t have.
However, he said the pressure of playing for the Boks was a privilege compared to what the country was going through socio-economically.
“I wouldn’t use the word ‘pressure’, I would see it as a privilege to be included in the team as the South Africans face more pressure over there,” Mbonambi said.
“I hope I do my job well. The knee injury was amazing and I was very upset at the time it happened.
“I rehabbed and went back to training. I feel more confident about my knee than I did three weeks ago.”
Mbonambi is not a regular bench player, but said he welcomes every opportunity to stick around for the Boks.
In his absence, Joseph Dweba and Deon Fourier have been used as prostitutes, with the latter featuring on the wings as Marks made two 80-minute appearances in the last two Tests.
“I’m very happy to be back at the Springboks and I’m relishing any chance I get to be with my mates,” Mbanambi said.
“We need to prepare well so that when the game comes we are ready to do whatever is asked of us.”