WELLINGTON (Reuters) – South Africa wing Makazole Mapimpi has been ruled out of Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash with world champions New Zealand in Wellington after sustaining a knee injury in the defeat to Australia this past weekend.
The Springbok flyer scored his side’s second try in the 23-18 loss in Brisbane but had to leave the field before halftime to be replaced by debutant Cheslin Kolbe.
The Boks have not called up a replacement, with coach Rassie Erasmus hinting that he may play one of his centres on the wing against the All Blacks due to Kolbe’s lack of international experience.
“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 (centres) Jesse Kriel and even Lukhanyo Am, who has played some rugby out on the wing,” Erasmus told reporters on Monday.
“We will try and pick the most experienced side for this match, with the least amount of changes.”
Mapimpi is the only injury concern for the squad as the Boks try to avoid a third defeat in a row in this year’s southern hemisphere championship having already lost away in Argentina and Australia.
They have lost their previous eight tests in New Zealand though, last tasting victory in 2009.
(Reporting By Nick Said; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)