LONDON: South Africa captain Jean de Villiers is out of the World Cup after sustaining a fractured jaw in Saturday’s 46-6 win over Samoa.
The Springboks responded from their shock opening loss to Japan with victory in the Pool B contest at Villa Park, but it has come at a cost, with the experienced centre picking up an injury that has ended his tournament.
De Villiers departed immediately to hospital for X-rays on the opposite side of his jaw to the first injury sustained in August, but head coach Heyneke Meyer announced his skipper was out on Sunday.
“Jean is not only our captain and one of the most experienced players in the squad, but he is also the glue of this team and to lose him is very sad,” Meyer said.
“We are all very heartbroken for him and we will miss his influence a lot … Jean has fought back from all his injuries and this is the kind of character and fighting spirit we will need to show going forward in this competition.
“While this is a huge and emotional setback for the team, we will now have to regroup and refocus before we start our preparations for Saturday’s match against Scotland.”
De Villiers will return to South Africa for further specialist treatment and centre Jan Serfontein will join the squad in Newcastle on Monday.
Tonga have also lost their captain to injury, albeit only for one match, as Nili Latu is set to miss their Pool C match against Namibia on Tuesday with a hamstring problem. No8 Viliami Ma’afu and centre Siale Piutau will co-captain the team, who lost their opening match17-10 to Georgia, in his absence.