EXCLUSIVE: 'I knew I was gone' - Marx remembers the physical and emotional pain

rugby04 April 2024 13:30| © SuperSport
By:Gavin Rich

Malcolm Marx had often heard Jacques Nienaber talk about how important it was to cherish every moment of being a Springbok, but it was only when injury took it away from him that the hooker fully understood what the coach meant by that.

It is often forgotten that the Boks won their latest Rugby World Cup title without the services of a man many considered to be their talisman, who suffered a severe knee injury in training after just one match.

But Marx won’t forget it, neither will he forget the pain, both physical and emotional, when he realised his dream of going all the way to a second successive title was over for him.


“As soon as it happened I knew it was gone,” said Marx of the training ground incident that saw his foot get wedged between Vincent Koch’s legs and then his knee give way in an awkward fall.

“Vincent said he had never heard me scream before. Obviously you get quite a bit of pain (playing rugby), head cuts and the like, but that was something else.”

Some of his fellow Boks who were in the vicinity at the time, such as Steven Kitshoff, felt bad about what happened and may initially have felt they were to blame, but Marx wrote it off as “a freak accident”.


Marx had not been named in the match-day squad to play Romania in their second World Cup pool game and the injury happened while he was helping to prepare the guys who were playing for the game by providing opposition in training.

“They’d announced the 23 that was playing and I wasn’t in the 23. I think I have mentioned this before, your job when you aren’t playing is to prepare the guys who are playing to the best of your ability to put them in the best possible position for the game,” he recalled in an emotional interview for the second series of Chasing the Sun.

Watch Marx tell the story of how the injury happened and how he reacted to the realisation that it meant his World Cup was over after just one game.