South Africa loose forward Arno Botha has been ruled out for the remainder of 2013 after rupturing ligaments in his left knee during the Springboks' win over Scotland on Sunday (NZ time).
The highly rated 21-year-old was forced to leave the field in the fourth minute of just his second test, having made his debut against Italy the previous week, and has been diagnosed with an injury to his medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments that requires surgery.
''Losing Arno is a big blow as he had a very good test debut last weekend against Italy,'' Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer said in a statement.
''Luckily he is still very young and I'm sure with the correct medical treatment and rehabilitation we will see him back on the field again in 2014.''
Meyer said that a call on a possible replacement for Botha will be made at a later stage with the Springboks to face Samoa in their final four nations tournament match in Pretoria on Sunday (NZ time).