Am called up after Mapimpi ruled out of Bok RWC campaign

JOHANNESBURG – The Springboks have called up centre, Lukhanyo Am, as a replacement for Makazole Mapimpi in their Rugby World Cup squad.

Mapimpi fractured his cheek and eye socket when he clashed heads with Tongan scrumhalf, Augustine Pulu, on Sunday.

Am, a vital member of the title-winning 2019 team, was unlucky to miss out on selection in the initial 33-man group after picking up a knee injury in the 24-13 victory win over Argentina in Buenos Aires on 5 August – the last game before the official squad announcement three days later.

Mapimpi is the second player from the Bok squad to be ruled out of the tournament after hooker, Malcolm Marx, suffered a knee injury in training after the opening match against Scotland on 10 September. He was replaced by flyhalf Handre Pollard, who made his playing return in the 49-18 win against Tonga – his first Test match in 13 months.

"We are sad for Mapimpi. We’ll miss him as a player and what he brings to the team off the field. But if we get to the final, we’ll fly him and Malcolm Marx back," said Springbok director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus.

Am, who was working as an analyst on SuperSport since the event started, will join the squad in Toulon this week.

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The world champions are on the verge of making it into the knockout phase in France but will have wait for the outcome of the game between Ireland and Scotland on Saturday to find out where they finish in Pool B. A likely quarterfinal against either France or New Zealand will follow on the weekend of the 14th and 15th October.

Artmotion S.Africa

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