VIDEO: Revealed - the 'freak accident' that cost Marx his World Cup spot
“It was a freak accident.”
In that short sentence South African coach Jacques encapsulated the incident that resulted in Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx being ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup in France with a long-term knee injury.
Marx went down at training on Wednesday, after having his leg caught between the legs of a teammate in a contact session.
“It was a team run where we had two opposing sides – painting pictures for each other,” Nienaber told a pre-match media briefing at the team’s base in Bordeaux – where they will face Romania in a Round Two match.
The details about the extent of the injury have not been made public, but it is listed as a ‘long-term’ injury.
“It’s serious and he’s no longer available for the World Cup.”
The coach described the hooker’s departure as a “blow on many levels”.
“The entire team – when we left Toulon for Bordeaux – were sad,” he said.
“The first loss, is the loss of the player.
“Players work incredibly hard for four years and sacrificed a lot to get to a World Cup.”
He said for the team, as a ‘family’ of players and coaches, it is the loss of a member of the group.”
(WATCH as Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber explains exactly what happened during the training ground mishap that ruled Malcolm Marx out of the World Cup…)
“A typical thing is early in the mornings I saw Malcolm with his daughter in his arms, so I’m gonna miss that.
“Also, Every individual in our group adds something to the Boks.
“We lose that with Malcolm.
“Thirdly, we lose a quality player as a team, but the World Cup also loses a quality player.
“Every country wants their best players to play in the tournament.
“It is not the first time and not the last time the tournament ill lose a player.”
He said that while the threat of injuries is real, they need to focus on what they can control and not be consumed by ‘fear’.
“The only thing you can control is to make sure that you build as much [depth] as possible,”the coach said.
“And we certainly tried that.
“We really tried hard to get as much depth into our squad as possible and to get experience into that depth.
“And that’s why we had so much rotation in 2022.”