South Africa's Bryan Habana has been ruled out of Saturday’s pool D clash with Fiji because of a knee injury.
The 71-Test veteran will join Victor Matfield (hamstring) and Jean de Villiers (rib cartilage) in the stands at Wellington Regional Stadium after that pair were also forced off during last weekend’s nail-biting 17-16 win over Wales
There is also an injury cloud over second rower Johann Muller, who did not train with the team on Wednesday because of a hamstring problem.
But there was better news regarding Bulls lock Bakkies Botha who has returned to training and could feature against the Pacific Islanders.
Botha has been struggling with a chronic Achilles injury and will provide a huge boost to the squad if he does take the field, particularly given Matfield’s absence.
Halfback Fourie du Preez acknowledged it was tough losing so many senior players but that the team would cope against Fiji.
"Luckily we've been playing together for a few years now but it is going to be tough," he said.
"But there are also opportunities for a new guy to come in (for Habana) and Odwa (Ndungane) has played a few Tests for us."
The breakdown continues to be a talking point and loose forward Schalk Burger stressed again it was important to adapt to the referee and his interpretations.
Springboks coach Peter de Villiers felt the breakdown was not particularly well policed by referee Wayne Barnes last week.
"It was obviously very competitive. Their loose trio were exceptional and it was tough for us," Burger said.
"Last weekend we found it pretty tough and pretty disruptive and pretty competitive. But this weekend is a different challenge with Fiji."
"You’ve just got to adapt. I think that’s the way the breakdown has been working."
"The breakdown is a lot clearer now than it was in the past. Every ref has got his own interpretation."
"The attacking side is getting more advantage than the defensive side but if you're pretty good on the ground defensively you can turnover some ball."
"It all depends on how clear they want the tackler to roll away or show daylight, or entry. Every ref is different. You better adapt or die I suppose. That’s the way we see it."