Springbok veteran to be ruled out of World Cup?
There has been a worrying injury update from the Springbok camp following Sunday's physical battle against Tonga.
The Springboks all but guaranteed their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals – barring a mathematical miracle for Scotland – by edging their way to a 49-18 victory (halftime 21-8) over a feisty Tonga on a balmy evening at the Stade de Marseille on Sunday.
However, there is a real injury concern for the team after veteran wing Makazole Mapimpi had to be replaced early on after taking a heavy knock to the face during a collision.
PLAYER RATINGS: Pollard perfect for Springboks, but who flopped?
Anxious waiting game in Springbok camp
Coach Jacques Nienaber delivered bad news on the injury front, saying wing Makazole Mapimpi suffered a cheek injury in the match.
It is the sort of injury that usually rules a player out for a few weeks.
“Makazole has a fractured cheekbone, so he’ll go for scans on Monday to determine the seriousness of the injury,” said Nienaber.
Mapimpi’s face was visibly swollen when he left the field after a collision that only resulted in a penalty against Tonga.
Break in action
With a week off before the team knows their fate in the competition, and another week before the quarter-final, Nienaber said it was not unchartered territory for the Boks.
“It’s a positive for us in that it was similar to our 2019 campaign,” said Nienaber. “We also finished the pool stages early and had a 12 or 13 day break, so we’ve done it before as a team.
“We’ll give the players two or three days off to get away from rugby and have a mental break, and then work on the things we can do better to stay in the competition until the end.
“We’ll only know the outcome of the France and New Zealand pool on Friday and our pool on Saturday, and then we’ll know which teams will face one another.”