Springboks

Locked down in Japan | Springbok hooker eager to get back to SA

Malcolm Marx (Getty)
Malcolm Marx (Getty)

Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx says he's making the most of a challenging time in Japan after not managing to get back to South Africa before the coronavirus lockdown.

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Marx did not play Super Rugby for the Lions this year as he was released to play for the Shining Arcs in Japan, where he has been in fine form.

He scored five tries in the Shining Arcs' last four matches before the Top League season was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other South Africans also on the Shining Arcs' books are Sylvian Mahuza, Robert Kruger, Willie Britz and coach Hugh Reece-Edwards.

Other compatriots of Marx currently also still stuck in Japan include RG Snyman, Damian de Allende, Matthys Basson, Lionel Cronje, Jean Droste and Jason Jenkins.

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"Luckily there are still some South Africans here with me. It helps quite a bit to have each other here, it's quite nice," Marx said in an interview with the Lions' official website from his home in Ichikawa city.

Japan's Covid-19 situation is worse than in South Africa. The country has urged its citizens to stay home this week, as media reports warned that as many as 400 000 people could die of the coronavirus without urgent action.

Japan, which tests only people with symptoms of the virus, has so far recorded more than 8 000 infections with nearly 200 deaths.

When asked how he was coping, Marx responded: "We are doing alright and still able to go to the gym which helps to stay in shape and as fit as possible. Everyone is still very cautious and doing everything that is needed.

"It helps that we can still go to the gym, but to be honest the fitness you do in the gym is very different to what you do on the rugby field."

Marx added that the rugby experience in Japan has been everything that he expected.

"I played two warm-up games before the league started and we had six league matches. It was an experience to see what the Japanese style of rugby is. All the games were very tough and I learnt quite a bit about Japanese rugby," Marx explained.

He did, however, admit that he missed home.

"To be honest, having meat off the braai and South African food are the things I definitely miss. And obviously being away from the family, I miss the family and friends.

"I am keen to get back to South Africa and join the Lions family again. Hopefully we can start training soon and back into games. I really missed my Lions family very much."

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