Lukhanyo Am, a crucial part of the Springboks’ victorious 2019 Rugby World Cup squad, has received a call-up to the 2023 team. He comes in as an injury replacement for winger Makazole Mapimpi, who sustained a fractured cheekbone during Sunday’s impressive 49-18 win over Tonga.
Mapimpi’s injury is expected to keep him sidelined for a period ranging from four to six weeks.
Am is set to rejoin the squad in Toulon this week, marking his return to training after a knee injury sustained during the team’s 24-13 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires on August 5. The 29-year-old centre, who played in the first four matches of the season as part of his recovery process, was initially left out of the squad due to his injury.
This marks the second injury replacement for the 33-man squad, with flyhalf Handre Pollard, previously called up in place of hooker Malcolm Marx. Pollard made a successful comeback to the team during the recent match against Tonga.
South Africa, meanwhile, all but sealed a spot in the quarter-finals although there is a slim mathematical chance they could miss out.
The path to the quarter-finals in the Rugby World Cup is coming down to a thrilling showdown. The top-ranked team, Ireland, who recently defeated the Springboks, will face off against fifth-ranked Scotland in Paris this Saturday.
A victory for Ireland would secure their position at the top of the group, with South Africa as the runners-up. However, a remarkable scenario could unfold if Scotland manages to beat Ireland by a margin of 21 points or more, with both teams scoring four tries to earn an attacking bonus point. In such an event, all three teams would finish the pool play with 15 points.
In this intriguing permutation, Scotland would emerge as the group leaders based on points difference, while Ireland would secure the second spot due to their superior head-to-head record against the Springboks, who would then take the third position. The stakes are high, and rugby fans can anticipate an intense battle on the field to determine the quarter-finalists.