Cape Town - Schalk Brits says England should be wary of Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx in Saturday’s Test at Twickenham.
The 37-year-old Brits is one of three hookers included in coach Rassie Erasmus’ squad for the year-end tour to Europe but he is not expecting a starting role.
Marx is the incumbent, while Bongi Mbonambi is the other hooker in the squad.
Brits told The Telegraph that Marx is a “phenomenal” player and he expects him to trouble England at the breakdown area on Saturday.
“I don’t like to put a pecking order on anything (regarding who is the best in the world) but what I can say is that his mentality is right and he has a great work ethic. If he keeps that up, there’s no reason why he can’t get even better than he is already.
“I like looking at the stats, and he makes one of the highest amounts of turnovers in our team. Purely from that perspective, and with the rules going the way they are, to have that kind of player making that amount of turnovers says something about his capability around the ruck,” Brits said.
Brits added that he felt a hooker should be an extra loose forward for a team.
“If you can win a penalty in these weather conditions, the territorial battle is a big part of the game, and a player like Malcolm adds another dimension.”
Marx also had high praise for Brits when he addressed reporters in London on Tuesday.
He described Brits’ return to the Bok fold as “amazing”.
“Retiring and coming back and trying to get to the World Cup, that would be great. He's a great man, he talks to us and helps us a lot. So anything I can take from him and learn I will do," Marx said.
Saturday’s Test is scheduled for 17:00 (SA time), with both team line-ups to be named on Thursday.