The Springboks' thrilling win over the All Blacks at the weekend might become their last test for a while as they contemplate pulling the pin on their end-of-year tour, according to reports.
The Boks ended their Rugby Championship campaign with a 31-29 win over New Zealand on the Gold Coast after spending six weeks in Australia.
They're are set to head home for a short break before jetting to France later this month for a training camp and media events for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. They'll then face Wales on November 6, Scotland seven days later and England on November 20.
Under the current travel restrictions, the Springboks will have to isolate for 10 days on arrival, with South Africa on the British government's 'red list' of countries.
But South African Rugby are determined to ensure players are not stuck in another bio-bubble environment and would rather see the tour called off according to a report by Rapport.
"Another strict bio-bubble is out of the question, it will break the players," SA Rugby president Mark Alexander told Die Burger.
The squad have been in some form of 'bubble' life since June, unable to see their families for the better part of four months.
Opening up about the mental and emotional challenges so far faced, Springbok star Duane Vermeulen said it had all come down to adjusting to whatever was thrown at them.
"If you are not here you don't really understand the whole thing that we are going through," Vermeulen told rugby365.
"It's not as easy as people think. You are away from home, you are away from your family and you don't see your kids.
"That's [family] vital to your mental state and where you are as a person and as a player."
Meanwhile, after a run of three straight defeats in the tournament, Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber said the win over the All Blacks proved they were heading in the right direction.
"It's been a tough four weeks," said Nienaber. "We lost momentum in not securing victories in the first three games and in fairness, that's the margins when No 1, 2 and 3 in the world play against each other.
"I don't think we are at the level that we were in 2019 yet, due to the fact that we haven't played a lot in 2020. We are not where we want to be but this momentum will help, building forward hopefully."