Springboks confirm World Cup-ending injury for Makazole Mapimpi

Springboks confirm World Cup-ending injury for Makazole Mapimpi

South Africa's Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus confirmed on Monday that Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi had suffered a tournament-ending injury at the World Cup.

The 2019 World Cup winner was on the wrong end of a high tackle from scrum-half Augustine Pulu in the first half.

He left the pitch to undergo a head injury assessment (HIA) but did not return to action, with Jesse Kriel playing the remainder of the 49-18 victory.

Mapimpi's face was visibly swollen when he left the field as referee Luke Pearce and the TMO reviewed the tackle from Pulu and ruled that there was enough mitigation to warrant a penalty and nothing else.

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As it turned out, the collision resulted in a serious facial fracture for Mapimpi, who will play no further part in this year's Rugby World Cup - a tough blow for him, the Springbok team, and his legion of fans.

"We are sad for Mapimpi," said Erasmus. "He fractured his eye socket and cheek bone, so he'll be out for four to six weeks.

"It's sad because he'll be out for the rest of the tournament.

"We won't just miss him as a brilliant rugby player, but what he brings to the team is a lot of heart and honesty.

"He doesn't say a lot, but when he does, everybody listens. He trains hard and he communicates well on the field.

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"He never moans if he's not selected, and he helps the younger players who come through.

"If we get to the final, we'll fly him and Malcolm Marx back."

Erasmus confirmed that a replacement will be named for Mapimpi in the coming days.

This could create an opportunity for the Boks to call up Lukhanyo Am, who has reportedly recovered from the injury that kept him out of the World Cup squad.

Another possibility is for the Boks to pick a recognised hooker like Joseph Dweba, after they decided to replace the injured Malcolm Marx with Handre Pollard a few weeks ago.

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