VIDEO: Eben is the Bok 'enforcer' and 'pacifier'
Springbok Marvin Orie says lock partner Eben Etzebeth is an inspiration for him and brings calmness to those around him.
Etzebeth is one of the best players in the game.
However, he is also one of the most intimidating men in the sport – the team’s enforcer.
But Orie says his former schoolboy friend has a calming effect on those around him.
“I know when there’s a scuffle he doesn’t look calm, but in other stuff, he is incredibly calm,” Orie told a media briefing.
As a schoolboy, it was Orie’s dream to play alongside Etzebeth one day.
Before these man mountains became Springbok heroes, they were just two ordinary boys at Tygerberg High School, trying to make it in the game.
They never had the opportunity to play together at school level, nor later in life at provincial level.
It was only in 2021, when Lood de Jager was ruled out of the second Rugby Championship Test with Australia in Brisbane, that Orie stepped in and had the opportunity to partner with his schoolboy friend at lock.
That was the very first time they ever played together in a rugby match.
“I am incredibly inspired by a guy like Eben and for what he has done for South African rugby over the last how many years with over 110 caps,” Orie says.
“He is an inspirational guy for myself and for the team, hence the captaincy.
“Eben is a big leader in the team.
“He also helps me in the match with calmness.
“And it comes with experience, he has done it for so many matches.”
Etzebeth has amassed 110 Test caps, dating back to 2012, when he made his debut for the Springboks.
Orie has 18 Test appearances to his name since his international debut in 2018.
Orie spoke about the challenge of facing Argentina this weekend, but did not seem fazed by the challenge the locks will bring.
“I’ve played against Tomás [Lavanini]. Tough guys, feisty, they don’t back off and I think we sort of revel in those contests as well.
“We compete every day in training, it’s a competition, and of course, we can’t be too feisty in training, it’s all about the match.”