Jamie George, a former opponent, calls Malcolm Marx the “greatest hooker in the world.”

Jamie George, a former opponent, calls Malcolm Marx the “greatest hooker in the world.”

According to his former opponent, England’s Jamie George, Malcolm Marx is the best hooker in the world of rugby, while the Boks’ two-match series against the All Blacks in July set the tone for next year’s World Cup in France.

George, the starting hooker against the Springboks in the 2019 World Cup final, says that the 2023 World Cup will be the most intensely contested tournament ever because the northern hemisphere has closed the gap with its southern opponents.

George told Independent Media in an exclusive interview, “After the June tours to the south by England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, everyone is taking the north seriously. All of these games were quite close, which implies that the 12 months coming up to the World Cup will be incredibly exciting.”

Then the Rugby Championship began, and as the European sides slept and watched, spectacular battles were waged.

These games between the Boks and All Blacks provided us a glimpse of what the World Cup will be like in terms of energy; the intensity was really high, the collisions were massive, and the time between collisions was shorter. This is what the public desires to see, said the 32-year-old.

“In terms of form, New Zealand have turned the corner; their great players are coming into form,” the 69-cap veteran continued.

“The toughness of the Boks places them among the most difficult teams to defeat – as England, we always feel this when we play them, and we pride ourselves on our physicality.”

George claimed he was intrigued by Marx’s style.

“South Africa is endowed with exceptionally gifted prostitutes. Malcolm is a terrific player, and I regard him as the world’s top hooker, but I understand why he does not always start or play the entire match.

“If you look at the intensity of Test rugby and what you’ll see at the World Cup, you’ll see that the hooker position requires 80 minutes of total energy, and it’s rare for a player to be able to maintain that level of intensity for 80 minutes.

“Therefore, I get why the Boks have a Bomb Squad. The demands of the game for tight five attackers are significantly greater. The scrum is becoming increasingly intense, mauls are a significant element of the game, not just for the Boks but for all teams, and this requires a great deal of energy. Then observe how Malcolm aggressively pursues turnovers and plays as a loose forward.

“That is expensive. He is extremely fit, but nobody can maintain that level of fitness. And when Bongi (Mbonambi) and Malcolm combine to give you a good 80, you have something extremely exceptional.”

Now it is the north’s turn to host the south, with the Boks, Wallabies, Pumas, and All Blacks all playing four games against Six Nations opposition in November, and George predicts a battle.

“Nothing will be withheld due to the upcoming World Cup. Consider England versus South Africa at Twickenham, for instance (November 26). It is a massive international match in front of 80,000 spectators, and these matches are crucial for a variety of reasons. Fundamentally, you want the outcome, like you always do in Test rugby, and it’s crucial for us because we want momentum heading into the Six Nations and World Cup year.

“The Boks at Twickenham will be absolutely monumental. These teams have a ‘history,’ and I anticipate another delicious matchup,” George exclaimed. “We always have a tremendous level of respect for one another. We place the same importance on the game’s set piece, defensive strength, and collisions.

“It will be quite physically taxing. Due to the rivalry, the game will be highly charged on an emotional level, and the outcome will be determined by a series of close calls.

Intriguingly, George asserts that he would not be the player he is without South Africa.

“I’ve had the privilege of playing with a number of Springbok greats (at his club, Saracens) – Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger… their commitment to the game is incredible. They are the kindest individuals off the field, but as they cross the white line, everything changes!

“However, more than anyone else, I owe my career to John Smit, who was completing his career with Saracens as I entered the organization.

“I had coffee with him the day before the 2019 World Cup final, and he remains a good buddy. What a remarkable man! I have always admired him, and I learned a great deal from his play.

The time and effort that John invested in me were unparalleled.

»Jamie George, a former opponent, calls Malcolm Marx the “greatest hooker in the world.”«

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