Charlie Hodgson and Andy Sheridan are out for the rest of the season.
Both were hurt in England’s 23-21 win against the Springboks at Twickenham and neither completed the match. Hodgson, who was having a shocker, would not have been picked for the return test this weekend.
Replacement flyhalf Andy Goode is now expected to start against the Springboks, with the English also likely to play a far more conservative and tactical test.
Coach Andy Robinson knows he must win the test and the series to survive the axe.
Even victory is unlikely to help his cause with the critics in England unanimous that he must go.