South Africa face a difficult decision replacing captain Jean de Villiers for their key World Cup game against Scotland on Saturday.
De Villiers abruptly retired from international rugby after suffering a broken jaw against Samoa last week.
Several senior players who could take over are injured which has dashed coach Heyneke Meyer’s hopes of naming his new leader before Wednesday’s team announcement.
Vice-captain Victor Matfield is struggling with a hamstring strain and scrumhalf Fourie du Preez (ribs) is also in doubt.
These and a number of other injuries forced the cancellation of Monday’s training and the delay in the team announcement until late Wednesday.
Other candidates include Duane Vermeulen, who only returned from a neck injury in the 46-6 rout of Samoa at Villa Park last week.
Flanker Francois Louw, hooker Adriaan Strauss and loose forward Schalk Burger, who captained the Boks against the All Blacks this year, could also get the nod.
There was little indication at Tuesday’s practice session as to who will take the leadership. But South Africa must be certain to avoid a repeat of their shock loss when they take on the Scots at Newcastle United’s St James Park.
As De Villiers arrived back home in South Africa to a big welcome, his replacement Jan Serfontein joined his team-mates for his first training session and was said he was “shocked” to receive the call-up.
“I was surprised to get the call,” Serfontein said.
“I was watching the Wales-England game and I got a call from coach Heyneke saying that Jean is injured and that he was considering picking me and he would only confirm it on Sunday.
“I couldn’t sleep the night and got the news on Sunday, but I’m happy to be here now and will do everything I can to contribute.”
Serfontein missed out on the World Cup squad because of the emergence of midfielders Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel. The duo, if fit, are likely to start against Scotland.
De Allende has a knee ligament strain and Kriel a nasty gash to the cheek after taking a boot in the face in the Samoa win.
The Springboks are also expected to bring back fiery hooker Bismarck du Plessis to the match day squad.