Springboks prop Trevor Nyakane heading home from Rugby World Cup with calf injury

Trevor Nyakane tore his right calf during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between New Zealand and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama. Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Thomas du Toit will travel from France to replace Trevor Nyakane in South Africa's Rugby World Cup squad after the latter tore his right calf in Saturday's opening 23-13 loss to New Zealand in Yokohama.

Nyakane, who recently made the switch from loose-head to tight-head prop, lasted just 21 minutes as a replacement in the Pool B defeat before needing to be helped from the field in obvious discomfort.

"It's very tough on Trevor," Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus said. "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 Vincent [Koch], who now have the chance to step up."

Du Toit had signed a short-term deal to play for French Top 14 side Toulouse during the World Cup, but he is now expected to join the Boks squad at their training base in Nagoya on Tuesday afternoon.

The 24-year-old won the latest of his 10 caps in the 24-18 victory over Argentina in Pretoria on Aug. 17, which was also his only international start.

"Thomas was with the squad for a period of time in the build-up to the World Cup... his ability to play on both sides of the scrum factored into our decision to call him up now," Springboks assistant coach Matt Proudfoot said on Monday.

"His evolution in that role is quite well developed. We have faith that he will bring his own skill-set to the team.

"He's a very destructive ball-carrier and very good over the ball. He's a big man with a big engine. So we've got great cover coming in for Trevor."

Proudfoot also suggested there may be the chance to recall Nyakane should another prop fall foul to injury later in the competition.

"It's really sad for Trevor. He's had a tremendous season and has worked incredibly hard to make the transition into a serious international tight-head.

"He's a great guy in the group who will be missed. We've given him instructions to go home and work at that [rehabilitation] because who knows what the competition will bring."

The Boks are next in action against Namibia in Toyota City on Saturday.