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Malcolm Marx could be next Bok to head to France - reports

By Ian Cameron
Malcolm Marx of South Africa looks on during the Rugby International Test Match between Australia Wallabies and South Africa at Allianz Stadium on September 03, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Springboks hooker Malcolm Marx could be the next big name to head to France in search of a lucrative contract in the Top 14 – according to reports.

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According to Midi Olympique, Marx is a key target of at least one Top 14 side. ASM Clermont are rumoured to be looking to loosen the purse strings for a high calibre No.2 and the 50-cap Springbok, whose contract comes to end in the summer of 2023, has apparently piqued their interest.

With Marx – who is currently vying for the Springboks’ starting jersey with Bongi Mbonambi – an integral part of Jacques Nienaber squad – any move would take place after the Rugby World Cup in France next year. The 27-year-old is currently contracted to the Kubota Spears in Japan, having spent a season with NTT Shining Arcs in 2020.

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Unlike in other nations, there is no hard policy in SA Rugby precluding overseas players from participating in Springboks’ camps, so while playing abroad might not necessarily help, exclusion from Test rugby is not necessarily a problem.

South African rugby isn’t the only one who will be losing players north of course. There is likely to be an avalanche of southern hemisphere stars looking to make the move to Europe following the sport’s flagship event in 2023.

The regular four-year migration cycle is already reportedly likely to also include All Blacks superstar Beauden Barrett and tighthead prop Nepo Laulala, who are both said to be weighing up deals with French clubs.

In fact a tranche of current All Blacks – including the likes of Laulala, Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Richie Mo’unga – are all currently signed on contracts that run until the end of 2023. Older All Blacks whose age might preclude them from participation in the 2027 Rugby World Cup will surely be eyeing big contracts in France and Japan.

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