Cape Town — Springbok scrum coach Matthew Proudfoot says the squad is gutted for tighthead prop Trevor Nyakane , who has been ruled out of the tournament with a torn calf.
The 30-year-old was a second-half substitute in Saturday's 23-13 loss to the All Blacks in Yokohama, but he was on the field for just 21 minutes before the injury left him in a heap of emotion as he left the fray.
Thomas du Toit has been called up as a replacement as the Boks prepare for Saturday's clash against Namibia, but Proudfoot took a moment on Monday to pay tribute to Nyakane.
"It's really sad for Trevor. I think he's had a tremendous season and he's worked incredibly hard," the coach said.
"He quite comfortably made his transition into a really serious international tighthead.
"He is a great guy in the group ... it's really sad for him. He is a guy that is going to be missed and we wish him well."
Nyakane started his career as a loosehead prop but over the past few seasons he has become a No 3.
He is still able to play both positions, though, and that is a big part of the reason Du Toit was picked because he can do the same.
"Thomas is someone who has been with us for a period of time in the build-up. He has the ability to play both sides and that was important for us in our decision. Trevor fulfilled that role," Proudfoot explained.
"Thomas' evolution into that role is quite well developed and we have a lot of trust in him that he will bring his own set of skills to the team.
"He is a very destructive ball carrier and he is very good over the ball. Defensively, he has a lot of energy."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:45 (SA time).
- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard