Springbok Malcolm Marx could be rewarded for a standout season with as many as three gongs at the 2017 SA Rugby Awards.
The 23-year-old Springbok and Lions hooker has been nominated for SA Rugby Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Super Rugby Player of the Year.
Marx is up against Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel and Jan Serfontein for the first prize.
Kriel is also in the running for Super Rugby player of the Year while Warrick Gelant (Young Player and Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year) and Curwin Bosch and Damian Willemse, both nominated for Young Player and Junior Springbok Player of the Year, also have a chance at scooping two awards.
“Four of these five players are aged 23 and younger, which bodes very well for the future of the game here in South Africa,” said SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander.
The awards for Coach and Team of the Year are a straight shoot-out between three sides and their respective coaches – the Springbok Sevens team and Neil Powell, the Lions and Johan Ackermann, and Western Province and John Dobson.
Powell led the Blitzboks to the World Rugby Sevens Series crown in 2016/17 and the team won a total of five tournaments. Ackermann’s Lions finished at the top of the Super Rugby standings and were runners-up in the competition, and Dobson coached Western Province to titles in the Currie Cup Premier Division and the new SuperSport Rugby Challenge.
Juarno Augustus, who was crowned the World Rugby U20 Championship Player of the Tournament in June, is up against SA U20 teammates Bosch and Willemse for the Junior Springbok Player of the Year award.
The Blitzboks nominated for the Springbok Sevens Player of the Year award are Rosko Specman – one of the three candidates for the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Award for 2017 – Werner Kok and team captain, Philip Snyman.
Other categories where awards will be made are: Supersport Try of the Year, Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament, Outsurance Referee of the Year and Springbok Women’s Achiever of the Year, while Graham Knoop of False Bay was already named Club Player of the Year after the Gold Cup final last month.
The names of the winners will be announced early in the new season next year.
SA Rugby Player of the Year:
1 Eben Etzebeth
2 Siya Kolisi
3 Jaco Kriel
4 Malcolm Marx
5 Jan Serfontein
SA Rugby Young Player of the Year:
1 Curwin Bosch
2 Jean-Luc du Preez
3 Warrick Gelant
4 Malcolm Marx
5 Damian Willemse
Team of the Year:
1 Lions (Super Rugby runners up)
2 Springbok Sevens (World Rugby Sevens Series winners)
3 Western Province (Currie Cup Premier Division and Supersport Rugby Challenge winners)
Coach of the Year:
1 Johan Ackermann (Lions)
2 John Dobson (Western Province)
3 Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens)
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year:
1 Chris Dry
2 Werner Kok
3 Rosko Specman
Junior Springbok Player of the Year:
1 Juarno Augustus
2 Curwin Bosch
3 Damian Willemse
Super Rugby Player of the Tournament:
1 Jaco Kriel (Lions)
2 Malcolm Marx (Lions)
3 Franco Mostert (Lions)
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year:
1 Nizaam Carr (Western Province)
2 Robert du Preez (Western Province)
3 Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls)
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year:
1 Jaun Kotze (Griffons)
2 Tertius Maarman (Griffons)
3 Jeandré Rudolph (Leopards)
SuperSport Rugby Challenge Player of the Year:
1 Craig Barry (Western Province)
2 Enver Brandt (Griquas)
3 Shaun Reynolds (Golden Lions XV)