The Wallabies' hopes of a breakthrough Rugby Championship win at Ellis Park have suffered a blow with a number of key players including Christian Leali'ifano sent home.
Six players are returning to Australia through injury, personal circumstances or to play club rugby.
Brumbies playmaker Leali'ifano has been carrying a shoulder injury through the last few Super Rugby matches with the Wallabies medical staff deciding he was better served with another week's rest.
His teammate, prop Scott Sio, suffered an adductor injury last Friday at training and has failed to come up while Waratahs prop Tom Robertson hurt his ankle at training on Tuesday.
Leali'ifano and Sio are expected to be fit to face Argentina in Brisbane next Saturday while Robertson is unlikely to be available.
Winger Marika Koroibete will also fly home to Melbourne to be with his family after the birth of his second child and will meet the official squad in Brisbane.
Utility back Jack Maddocks and backrower Rob Valetini were released for club duties this weekend.
Waratahs prop Harry Johnson-Holmes is en route to Johannesburg to provide extra front-row coverage.
Coach Michael Cheika will name his side on Thursday in Johannesburg.