Toulouse star set to start against All Blacks
INJURY UPDATE: Springbok wing Makazole Mapimpi has returned to South Africa after he sustained a knee injury in the Rugby Championship match against the Wallabies in Brisbane.
No replacement will be added to the South African squad.
Mapimpi was withdrawn from action just before half-time at the Suncorp Stadium on Saturday and he was replaced by Toulouse star Cheslin Kolbe, who earned his debut Test cap for the Springboks.
The injured player arrives in South Africa on Tuesday and will undergo a specialist review of his injured right knee. Apart from Mapimpi, there are no other Springbok injury concerns.
“We have a squad of 30 players here in Wellington and we’re not going to call up a replacement. Makazole flew back today (Monday) and if we call up someone in his place, he will only arrive here on Wednesday and have one training session with us,” explained Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, at the Springboks’ arrival media conference.
The injury withdrawal of Mapimpi has however forced Erasmus to relook at his back-three options for Saturday’s clash with the world’s top-ranked team.
“We have Cheslin Kolbe with us who played a full second half last Saturday on the wing, but we have some other options as well such as Jesse Kriel and even Lukhanyo Am, who has played some rugby out on the wing,” explained Erasmus. “We will try and pick the most experienced side for this match, with the least amount of changes.”
Erasmus will announce his Springbok match-23 on Thursday.