Springboks World XV

Springboks stars Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

PLAYER RATINGS: The Springboks’ best forwards from 2022

At the conclusion of the 2022 Test season, we dish out some key Springboks player ratings to the leading forwards from this past year.

Springboks World XV

Springboks stars Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

In part two of this series, we specifically take a look at the Springboks standout stars from the forward pack, and hand out some player ratings.

PLAYER RATINGS: THE SPRINGBOKS’ BEST BACKS FROM 2022

These are the players we picked as the standout Springboks forwards from 2022:

Eben Etzebeth (9/10)

When South Africa took on England last Saturday, Etzebeth – who made his debut in June 2012 – ran out for his 110th international cap to become the fifth-most capped Springbok of all time.

In typical fashion, he produced yet another powerful performance to cap off a year where he served to further underline his status as one of the greatest locks South Africa has ever produced.

His consistency in fitness and form is quite remarkable, and there simply appears to be no slowing down for Etzebeth, who is sure to feature among the SA Rugby Player of the Year nominees.

Siya Kolisi (9/10)

If there were any questions over the form of Kolisi prior to the international season, these were emphatically banished as the Bok captain produced one impressive display after another on the Test stage.

Kolisi is undoubtedly among the leading openside flankers in world rugby, and there was so much to enjoy about his abrasive and energetic performances throughout a jam-packed Test season.

As captain, Kolisi also led the team with aplomb, maintaining a sense of composure and class even during some challenging times off the field for the team.

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Malcolm Marx (8/10)

There is no player more menacing among the Springboks’ Bomb Squad, with Marx offering so much value both in terms of physicality, set-piece prowess and typical effectiveness at the breakdown.

Although the Springboks seem to still prefer starting with Bongi Mbonambi, there is no doubting the influence Marx has almost every time he canters on for a second-half cameo. Undoubtedly, the dynamic hooker was one of the standout forwards this year.

Frans Malherbe (7/10)

The burly front rower was once again one of the Springboks’ unsung heroes in 2022, but his world-class scrumming performances deserve immense credit.

Malherbe is arguably the most fearsome tighthead prop in world rugby, while his mobility and defence is also highly underrated.

Jasper Wiese (7/10)

At the start of the year, very few pundits could have predicted that Wiese would establish himself as the Springboks’ first-choice No 8 by the time the 2022 Test season came to a close.

Yet, with Duane Vermeulen battling with fitness and form, Wiese clinically rose to the occasion and seemed to grow with confidence as he gained plenty of valuable game-time.

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