Bok hooker Marx wins big at SA Rugby Awards

File: Malcolm Marx during the SARU Player of the Year Awards at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 09 February 2018. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx was rewarded with three awards following a sublime season in 2017, including being named the SA Rugby Player of the Year.

The 23-year-old star from the Emirates Lions was also named the SA Rugby Young Player (U23) and Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year for 2017.

Marx, who retained the Young Player of the Year award he won in 2016, is the first player since Ashwin Willemse in 2003 to win the prestigious SA Rugby Player and Young Player of the Year Awards in the same season.

“This is a magnificent achievement for Malcolm and on behalf of the entire South African rugby fraternity, I would like to congratulate him on a superb season,” said SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander.

“Malcolm was a rock for both the Springboks and the Emirates Lions and at only 23 I’m sure he will still go on to accomplish big things in our game.”

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The Springbok Sevens team and their coach, Neil Powell, were also rewarded for a sterling season in which they won the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series by winning the awards for Team and Coach of the Year. The fleet-footed Rosko Specman was named Springbok Sevens Player of the Year.

“Neil and his band of Blitzbok brothers made us all very proud last year and these awards are very well deserved,” said Mr Alexander.

Juarno Augustus, who was named the World Rugby U20 Championship Player of the Tournament last June, won the award for Junior Springbok Player of the Year.

Recently-capped Springbok Warrick Gelant, who also represented the Blitzboks and Junior Springboks earlier in his career, was the Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year, and the Down Touch Griffons’ Juan Kotze won the accolade for the First Division.

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Craig Barry from DHL Western Province, who is currently playing for the Toyota Cheetahs in the Guinness PRO14, was named Supersport Challenge Player of the Year, and Babalwa Latsha, also from WP, won the Women’s Achiever of the Year award.

Jaco Peyper, who refereed the first Test between the All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions, as well as the Vodacom Super Rugby and the Currie Cup Premier Division finals, was named the Outsurance Referee of the Year.

“Well done to all the winners on their achievements in 2017. Judging by these performances, and the fact that we’re busy turning the corner, I can’t wait for this year’s action,” said Mr Alexander.

African News Agency

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