Injured De Villiers misses June Tests
Jean De Villiers of South Africa warms up before the start of the international rugby union test match between Scotland and South Africa at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland, on November 17, 2013 - by Ian MacNicol
"Losing our captain is a massive setback," coach Heyneke Meyer said in Durban Sunday at the start of a three-day training camp.
But he would not be drawn on who will lead the green and gold in place of the 33-year-old Western Stormers centre.
"Replacing your captain is always difficult," admitted Meyer.
"We have a number of good leaders in the squad, but I do not want to rush a decision on the captaincy as we still have to finalise the squad."
Hookers Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss, who lead the Coastal Sharks and Central Cheetahs respectively in the Super 15, are potential stand-ins.
Northern Bulls captain and lock Flip van der Merwe is also among the 36-man training squad.
De Villiers was a late withdrawal from the Stormers side that walloped Cheetahs 33-0 this weekend after complaining of knee discomfort.
A medical checkup in Cape Town Sunday revealed he would be sidelined for about eight weeks.
South Africa play a World XV in Cape Town, Wales in Durban and Nelspruit and Scotland in Port Elizabeth on consecutive Saturdays from June 7.
The annual Rugby Championship, featuring the Springboks, New Zealand All Blacks, Australian Wallabies and Argentine Pumas, kicks off during August.