The Latest: Nyakane out of World Cup; Boks draft in du Toit

South Africa prop Trevor Nyakane is out of the Rugby World Cup after tearing his right calf muscle in the 23-13 loss to New Zealand
Published September 23

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 4 of the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

South Africa prop Trevor Nyakane is out of the Rugby World Cup after tearing his right calf muscle in the 23-13 loss to New Zealand.

The Springboks have drafted in Thomas du Toit as a replacement and he is flying to Japan from France, where he was on a short-term loan with Toulouse.

South Africa says du Toit will arrive at the team camp in Nagoya on Tuesday ahead of the Pool B game against Namibia on Saturday.

Nyakane will be a big loss for South Africa after giving the Boks strong momentum in the scrum off the bench in recent matches. Vincent Koch will likely move up to the bench as cover for starting tighthead Frans Malherbe.

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus says "it's very tough on Trevor. He has had a great season and added value whenever he took the field. It's a blow to him and the team, but it's also an opportunity for Thomas and for Vincent."


1:50 p.m.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been critical of Fiji for referring a tackle by Australian winger Reece Hodge to the citing committee following their Pool D opener but not raising the issue among coaches after the game in Sapporo.

Hodge was cited Sunday for a dangerous tackle on Fiji flanker Peceli Yato in Saturday's game and could be facing a ban of between two and 10 weeks.

"Probably the most disappointing thing was the Fijians. After the game we had a lot of friendly discussion (and) there was no mention of anything, and to get a referral from them and the way it was referred, that was really disappointing," Cheika told reporters Monday. "I don't find the way they brought that (to be) in the spirit of the game at all."

Hodge's shoulder made contact with Yato's head and neck area while making the try-saving tackle on the Fijian in the first half of Australia's 39-21 win. Hodge also didn't appear to use his arms in making the tackle.

The referee and the television match official made no sanction during the game, leaving Fiji to decide whether or not to take the matter further. Yato left the game with symptoms of concussion and has been ruled out of Fiji's second pool game against Uruguay.

World Rugby said Hodge will attend a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo on a date to be confirmed.

The disciplinary charges have been polarizing. Supporters of the decision say Reece was at fault in the contact; critics say the contact was part-and-parcel of a physical game.


1 p.m.

Fiji coach John McKee has made 12 changes to the starting lineup which lost to Australia in the Pool D opener for Wednesday's game against Uruguay at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium.

Forward leaders Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Leone Nakarawa were retained, and former rugby league star Semi Radradra moves into the centers from the wing to take on Uruguay.

The Fijians took it to two-time champion Australia in Sapporo, leading 8-0, 14-7 and 21-12 before the Wallabies rallied for a 39-21 win.

The lineup changes will give the backup players valuable experience, and give the regular starters a chance to rest and recover ahead of later group games against Georgia and Six Nations champion Wales. Only the top two teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals, which is Fiji's target at the tournament.

Hooker Mesulame Dolokoto, center Jale Vatubua and winger Filipo Nakosi will be on Rugby World Cup debut.

Flyhalf Ben Volavola, who started all Fiji's games at the 2015 World Cup and also against Australia last weekend, was included on the bench.

Fiji: Alivereti Veitokani, Filipo Nakosi, Semi Radradra, Jale Vatubua, Vereniki Goneva, Josh Matavesi, Henry Seniloli; Leone Nakarawa, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu (captain), Api Ratuniyarawa, Tevita Ratuva, Manasa Saulo, Mesulame Dolokoto, Eroni Mawi. Reserves: Tuvere Vugakoto, Campese Ma'afu, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Tevita Cavubati, Samuel Matavesi, Nikola Matawalu, Ben Volavola, Levani Botia.


12:30 p.m.

After a hectic opening weekend featuring seven games at the Rugby World Cup, Six Nations champion Wales gets its campaign started on Monday in Pool D against Georgia.

The delayed start means the Welsh have a shorter turn around before facing two-time champion Australia on Sunday in a game that could determine who wins the group. Australia opened on Saturday with comeback win over Fiji.

The defending champion New Zealand All Blacks had the toughest opening assignment, starting with a 23-13 win over South Africa that continued their unbeaten streak in World Cup group games.

Among the other leading contenders, Ireland was too good for Scotland and England beat Tonga in group games on Sunday.


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