Mapimpi was replaced in the first half following a high tackle by Tonga’s Augustine Pulu, which was penalised by referee Luke Pearce without a card being shown.
The tackle, which at the time did not seem overly serious, left Mapimpi with an injury which has ruled him out for between four to six weeks.
“We are sad for Mapimpi,” said Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, on Monday. “He fractured his eye socket and cheek bone. We’ll miss him as a player and what he brings to the team off the field.”
Am, the outside centre, was a key part of the 2019 side but suffered a knee injury in the warm-up match against Argentina in August.
The Springboks opted for him instead of calling up a hooker, with Bongi Mbonambi the only current specialist and Deon Fourie - the 37-year-old back-row who has a wealth of experience in the position - and back-row Marco van Staden the current back-up options following Malcolm Marx’s injury. Fly-half Handre Pollard replaced Marx, leaving South Africa potentially weakened at hooker.
How have South Africa fared so far?
The defending champions’ impressive start to the 2023 Rugby World Cup hit a speed bump as they were
Springboks got their title defence off to a winning start when they beat Scotland 18-3 in Marseille in the first of their four pool matches. They followed that up by cruising to a 76-0 victory over Romania in their second game, in which scrum-half Cobus Reinach scored a hat-trick inside 25 minutes – the second-quickest in World Cup history.
South Africa are now on course to finish as runners-up in Pool B. Provided Ireland continue their 16-match winning streak to defeat Scotland, Springboks are likely to face France in the quarter-finals.
When could South Africa’s quarter-final game be played?
Saturday, October 14
QF2: Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A, Stade de France – 8pm
. . . or . . .
Sunday, October 15
QF4: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B, Stade de France – 8pm
When might South Africa play a semi-final?
Friday, October 20
Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 2, Stade de France – 8pm
. . . or . . .
Saturday, October 21
Winner QF 3 v Winner QF 4, Stade de France – 8pm
When is the 2023 Rugby World Cup final?
Saturday, October 28
Stade de France – 8pm
What television channel is showing South Africa’s matches?
ITV have exclusive broadcast rights to show the Rugby World Cup in the UK. All South Africa’s games will be broadcast on ITV1
The radio commentary of every match is available on the BBC, across Radio 5 Live, 5 Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds service.
In South Africa, the tournament is being broadcast on SuperSport.
Who is in South Africa’s Rugby World Cup squad?
Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi, Malcolm Marx*, Eben Etzebeth, Jean Kleyn, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese, Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert.
Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Cobus Reinach, Grant Williams, Manie Libbok, Damian Willemse, Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Jesse Kriel, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Cheslin Kolbe, Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie, Makazole Mapimpi*, Handre Pollard**, Lukhanyo Am**.
*Ruled out due to injury, **Called up as injury replacement
Who are favourites to win the World Cup?
South Africa: 10/3
New Zealand: 7/2