AUDIO: Lions to 'manage' Marx
AUDIO: Lions to 'manage' MarxSHARE
There is no guarantee the Springbok superstar Malcolm Marx or his longtime front row partner Dylan Smith – they have been together since their King Edward school days – will start in the Currie Cup semifinal against Western Province at Newlands on Saturday.
De Bruin told rugby365 that he will only make the call about team selection much later in the week.
"I will decide later [in the week] whether we will start Malcolm [Marx]," the coach said, adding: "I have to look after his welfare, because he is very valuable to South Africa at the moment."
Marx has come along in leaps and bounds on the international stage this year and produced a Man of the Match performance in the 24-25 loss to the All Blacks at Newlands a fortnight ago.
Marx was given a perfect 10-out-10 rating by rugby365 and several New Zealand publications for his performance.
He followed that up with another Man of the Match performance as a second-half replacement against the Cheetahs last week.
His recent form has ensured that he will receive a duel Springbok and Lions contract next year, although SARU still has to confirm the contract.
There are no injuries for the Lions from the 44-17 demolition of the Free State Cheetahs at Ellis Park last week.
It means that – with the exception of the return of Springbok prop Ruan Dreyer, who was rested for last Saturday's outing – there will be no changes to the squad that faced the Cheetahs.
De Bruin said he still has to make a call on whether to go with an extra prop at Newlands, or go with a lock/loose forward on the bench, against Province.
"We are training as a group of 23," he said, adding that there is a request to increase the matchday squads for the semifinals to from 22 to 23 – to allow for a full front row on the bench.
That call still has to be made by the South African Rugby Union.
Golden Lions squad: Andries Coetzee, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Harold Vorster, Courtnall Skosan, Jaco van der Walt, Ross Cronje, Albertus Smith, Cyle Brink, Len Massyn, Marvin Orie, Andries Ferreira, Jacobie Adriaanse, Robbie Coetzee, Jacques van Rooyen, Malcolm Marx, Ruan Dreyer, Dylan Smith, Rhyno Herbst, Robert Kruger, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Ashlon Davids, Hacjivah Dayimani.
By Jan de Koning