TOKYO (Reuters) – Springboks winger Cheslin Kolbe will miss the Rugby World Cup semi-final against Wales because of an ankle injury, coach Rassie Erasmus said on Thursday.
Kolbe, one of the standout players of the tournament, missed South Africa’s pool match against Canada with an ankle problem and had to leave the field in the latter stages in the quarter-final victory over Japan.
He missed training on Tuesday and will be replaced on Sunday by S’Busiso Nkosi in the only change to the team that beat the hosts in Tokyo last week.
“It’s a big blow, but if you look at his last game, his ankle definitely affected his performance and we just thought a fully fit S’Busiso would be better,” Erasmus said.
Team: 15-Willie le Roux, 14-S’Busiso Nkosi, 13-Lukhanyo Am, 12-Damian de Allende, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 10-Handre Pollard, 9-Faf de Klerk, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6-Siya Kolisi, 5-Lood de Jager, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Frans Malherbe, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 1-Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16-Malcolm Marx, 17-Steven Kitshoff, 18-Vincent Koch, 19-RG Snyman, 20-Franco Mostert, 21-Francois Louw, 22-Herschel Jantjies, 23-Frans Steyn.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by David Goodman)