No workload is too big for heavy-duty lock Marvin Orie who is at the heart of the DHL Stormers’ drive to defend their United Rugby Championship title.
An astute lineout operator and renowned workhorse in the tight loose, Orie has added edge to the DHL Stormers tight five, and was in the spine of the quest to claim the inaugural title, starting 16 of 18 regular season matches in the 2021-22 campaign.
In September, Orie was a bit of a surprise selection as DHL Stormers captain for the Round 3 clash against Edinburgh in Cape Town.
Fellow Bok lock Salmaan Moerat was a co-captain of the team before he was injured last season and is one of several members of the Springboks who returned to the DHL Stormers following the conclusion of the Rugby Championship.
Orie is up to the task of sharing the role this season, leading the defending Vodacom URC champions to victory over Edinburgh at DHL Stadium. He certainly has the pedigree to lead, as he was set to captain the Junior Boks at the 2013 Junior World Championship, but broke his leg in the Varsity Cup final and was ruled out for the season.
Orie represented Western Province throughout his school career, wearing the blue-and-white hoops at the U13 Craven Week, U16 Grant Khomo Week and U18 Craven Week.
After roaming the Highveld with the Vodacom Bulls and then Emirates Lions, the 29-year-old moved back to the Cape to join the DHL Stormers and Western Province in 2020, and swiftly made his presence felt in the shadow of Table Mountain.
Work ethic, edge, durability and selflessness are among Orie’s traits that have most impressed Bok coach Jacques Nienaber.
“In the British & Irish Lions series, he was our [scout team] Maro Itoje,” said Nienaber. “He studied Itoje - his mannerisms and how he calls lineouts. Marvin was phenomenal in preparing the team in the Lions series.”
Orie’s wish was always to play a Test alongside Bok centurion Eben Etzebeth, since both starred together for Hoerskool Tygerberg, and the two finally packed down side by side in a shock defeat to Wales in July.
"Since our time at school, we've always hoped that we'd get an opportunity to play together," Orie said. "I have a good relationship with Eben. We went to the same school, so we've known each other for a long time."
Etzebeth was visibly excited to be scrumming next to his former schoolmate in the national setup but the two will be rivals on 3 February when the DHL Stormers face the Cell C Sharks in Durban, with Orie no doubt having the date circled on his calendar to show the Bok enforcer a thing or two.