Defending Champions Springboks have called in centre Lukhanyo Am to the Rugby World Cup Squad to replace Makazole Mapimpi. Mapimpi suffered a fractured cheekbone during the 49-18 victory over Tonga on Sunday and is expected to return home.

Meanwhile, Am will join the Springboks squad in Toulon this week. The 29-year-old returned to training on his rehabilitation from a knee injury. He suffered the injury in the 24-13 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires on 5 August.

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 Am initially missed out on squad selection because of the same injury. He is the second injury replacement to the Boks squad following the call-up of flyhalf Handre Pollard for hooker Malcolm Marx.

Meanwhile, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi praised the team’s effort and physicality against Tonga on Sunday. It was the final Rugby World Cup pool match for the South African side.

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They currently lead Pool B with 15 points but have played one more match than Ireland and Scotland. The two British nations will face one another in their final pool match on Saturday, 7 October.

All three teams are still in the quarter-final race, with one set to drop out of the competition at the conclusion of the pool stages.

Springboks call Lukhanyo Am into the Rugby World Cup squad
Makazole Mapimpi

The key for us was to win first and then get the bonus point,” said Nienaber.

“We managed to get that early in the second half, then we chased points as much as we could.
 
“As things stand now, one of South Africa, Ireland and Scotland will miss out on the quarter-final, but all three can still make it. The pool will only be decided on Saturday,” he said.

The only thing I was thinking about was the physicality of the match,” added Kolisi.
 
“They were tough. We knew they would run hard at us, and they never stopped. I applaud the boys for sticking to the plan. We got the bonus point, and we accumulated as many points as we could,” he said.