Bomb Squad

Malcolm Marx and Steven Kitshoff. Photo: Archives

RATINGS: Steyn, front-row reserves the best of the Bomb Squad

In the final part of this series looking back at how key Boks performed this year, we highlight the best of the Bomb Squad.

Bomb Squad

Malcolm Marx and Steven Kitshoff. Photo: Archives

The Boks finished the year with eight wins from 13, and there is no doubt that their substitutes, known as the Bomb Squad, played a massive part in these results.



Considering the class of Marx, it actually seems crazy that he only started one Test in 2021. However, the Boks have clearly designated a specific role for the dynamic hooker, who is deployed to achieve maximum destruction in the second half.

Marx scored four tries this year, primarily from the back of rolling mauls where he was a weapon once again, while his impact at the breakdown was typically excellent this season.

The 27-year-old is just four Tests away from the 50-cap milestone, and is very quickly establishing himself as one of the Boks’ all-time great hookers.


Similarly to Marx, there is no doubt that Kitshoff would walk into the starting lineup of most Test teams, but he is such a key member of the Bomb Squad.

Kitshoff was destructive as ever at scrum time, while his mobility and work rate for such a big man is simply world-class.

The 29-year-old did start in three Tests this year, but he has almost become a specialist impact player, and the impact he makes is certainly as impressive as ever.

Frans Steyn (7)

Although the veteran only played off the bench on five occasions this year, he made a considerable impact almost every time he took to the field, proving that he has not slowed down with age.

After the disappointment of not receiving any game time during the British & Irish Lions series, Steyn came back into the Bok mix during the Rugby Championship, particularly making his presence felt in the final Rugby Championship win against the All Blacks.

He featured off the bench in all three end-of-year Tests, slotting long-distance penalties in each of the games, demonstrating once again that he can add immense value with the boot, while his experience, physicality and versatility add to his all-round attributes.

*Special Bomb Squad mention

Morne Steyn (10)

This is not really a genuine 10/10 rating, but hey, why not. Steyn surely deserves top marks simply based on the fact that his one on-field contribution during the Lions series was to come off the bench and casually slot two match-defining penalties.

It was a remarkable display of history repeating itself after his heroics in the 2009 series 12 years ago, and ensured Steyn will go down as one of the all-time legends of Springbok rugby.