Jean De Villiers is out of action for eight weeks.
The Springboks will be without skipper Jean de Villiers for the two Test Castle Lager Series against Wales next month.
The Stormers centre underwent surgery on a knee injury last weekend and will be out of action for eight weeks. He hopes to return for the start of Rugby Championship in August.
"Losing our captain is a massive setback," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. "Jean has been superb as our leader on and off the field and he was in excellent form as well.
"He is a wonderful ambassador for South Africa and is respected across the world as a leader - we will certainly miss him next month. His injury is the latest in a string of setbacks we've experienced, and with Jaque Fourie also ruled out it means we'll play with a new captain and a new midfield combination next month.
"Luckily we have good depth in the squad at centre, but replacing your captain is always difficult. We have a number of good leaders in the squad, but I don't want to rush a decision on the captaincy as we still have to finalise the squad for June."
De Villiers' place in the training squad that gathered in Durban on Sunday has been taken by promising Sharks lock Stephan Lewies. The Springboks will face a World XV at Newlands before they tackle Wales on successive weekends.
"It's great to see the excitement on the faces of the players, not only the uncapped guys, but also experienced Springboks," said Meyer.
"Everyone knows this is a very important season and with 18 matches left until we depart for the Rugby World Cup, the players are keen to impress and fight for positions in the squad. Our focus for now, however, is on the World XV match and ensuring we start the season on a positive note."
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.