Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx raked in three awards on Friday, named the 2017 SA Rugby Player of the Year, the Super Rugby Player of the Year and the SA Rugby Young Player of the Year.
Few would argue against the 23-year-old bagging these accolades after a season during which he stood head and shoulders above his local peers.
Marx retained the Young Player of the Year award won in 2016 and is the first player since Ashwin Willemse in 2003 to win the prestigious SA Rugby Player and Young Player of the Year Awards in the same season.
“This is a magnificent achievement for Malcolm and on behalf of the entire South African rugby fraternity, I would like to congratulate him on a superb season,” said SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander.
“Malcolm was a rock for both the Springboks and the Emirates Lions and at only 23 I’m sure he will still go on to accomplish big things in our game.”
The Springbok Sevens team and their coach, Neil Powell, were also rewarded for a sterling season in which they won the World Rugby Sevens Series by winning the awards for Team and Coach of the Year. The fleet-footed Rosko Specman was named Springbok Sevens Player of the Year.
“Neil and his band of Blitzbok brothers made us all very proud last year and these awards are very well deserved,” said Mr Alexander.
Juarno Augustus, the World Rugby U20 Championship Player of the Tournament in June, won the award for Junior Springbok Player of the Year.
Recently-capped Springbok Warrick Gelant was the Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year, and the Griffons’ Jaun Kotze won the accolade for the First Division.
Craig Barry from Western Province was named Supersport Challenge Player of the Year, and Babalwa Latsha, also from WP, won the Women’s Achiever of the Year award.
Jaco Peyper, who refereed the first Test between the All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions, as well as the Super Rugby and the Currie Cup Premier Division finals, was named the Referee of the Year.
“Well done to all the winners on their achievements in 2017. Judging by these performances, and the fact that we’re busy turning the corner, I can’t wait for this year’s action,” said Mr Alexander.
SA Rugby Player of the Year: Malcolm Marx
Other nominees: Eben Etzebeth (WP), Siya Kolisi (WP), Jaco Kriel (Golden Lions), Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls)
SA Rugby Young Player of the Year: Malcolm Marx
Other nominees: Curwin Bosch (Sharks), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks), Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls), Damian Willemse (WP)
Team of the Year: Springbok Sevens
Other nominees: Lions, Western Province
Coach of the Year: Neil Powell (Blitzboks)
Other nominees: Johan Ackermann (Lions), John Dobson (WP)
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Rosko Specman
Other nominees: Chris Dry, Werner Kok
Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Juarno Augustus (WP)
Other nominees: Curwin Bosch (Sharks), Damian Willemse (WP)
Super Rugby Player of the Tournament: Malcolm Marx (Lions)
Other nominees: Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert (both Lions)
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls)
Other nominees: Nizaam Carr, Robert du Preez (both Western Province)
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Jaun Kotze (Griffons)
Other nominees: Tertius Maarman (Griffons), Jeandré Rudolph (Leopards)
SuperSport Rugby Challenge Player of the Year: Craig Barry (Western Province)
Other nominees: Enver Brandt (Griquas), Shaun Reynolds (Golden Lions XV)
Craven Week Player of the Tournament
Sanele Nohamba (KwaZulu-Natal)
Referee of the Year
Women’s Achiever of the Year
Babalwa Latsha (Western Province)