The Springbok coach Peter de Villiers says their loss of utility back Francois Steyn is a bigger blow to their World Cup chances than the All Blacks' loss of first five Dan Carter.
Steyn injured his left shoulder in the final minutes of South Africa's 13-5 win over Samoa in Auckland on Friday night and has returned to South Africa for surgery.
The 24-year-old kicked a 53-metre penalty in that match to help ensure the win and de Villiers says he will be sorely missed.
Steyn is the youngest player to win a Rugby World Cup. He was part of South Africa's victorious 2007 team.