Marx is South Africa's best
NEWS: It came as no surprise when the winner of the SA Rugby Player of the Year award was named on Friday.
Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx picked up the award and two others after a sublime season in 2017.
The 23-year-old star from the Lions was also named the SA Rugby Young Player (Under-23) and Super Rugby Player of the Year for 2017.
Marx, who retained the Young Player of the Year award he won in 2016, 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 Mark Alexander.
"Malcolm was a rock for both the Springboks and the 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 Alexander.
Juarno Augustus, who was named the World Rugby Under-20 Championship Player of the Tournament last June, won the award for Junior Springbok Player of the Year.
Recently-capped Springbok Warrick Gelant, who also represented the BlitzBoks and Junior Springboks earlier in his career, 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, who is currently playing for the Cheetahs in the Pro14, was named National Rugby 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 Alexander.
All the winners are
Player of the Year: Malcolm Marx
Other nominees: Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Jan Serfontein
Young Player of the Year: Malcolm Marx
Other nominees: Curwin Bosch, Jean-Luc du Preez, Warrick Gelant, Damian Willemse
Team of the Year: Springbok Sevens
Other nominees: Lions, Western Province
Coach of the Year: Neil Powell
Other nominees: Johan Ackermann, John Dobson
Sevens Player of the Year: Rosko Specman
Other nominees: Chris Dry, Werner Kok
Junior Player of the Year: Juarno Augustus
Other nominees: Curwin Bosch, Damian Willemse
Super Rugby Player of the Tournament: Malcolm Marx (Lions)
Other nominees: Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert (both Lions)
Currie Cup Player of the Year: Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls)
Other nominees: Nizaam Carr, Robert du Preez (both Western Province)
First Division Player of the Year: Jaun Kotze (Griffons)
Other nominees: Tertius Maarman (Griffons), Jeandré Rudolph (Leopards)
National 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: Jaco Peyper
Women's Achiever of the Year: Babalwa Latsha (Western Province)