Pretoria: Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau says pride in the gold jumper will ensure the battered Australian troops lift for their final Rugby Championship Test against Argentina.
The Wallabies suffered a shocking injury toll in their 31-8 loss to South Africa - the worst being Berrick Barnes, who was left behind with the team doctor in Johannesburg with a punctured lung.
Utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper flew home to Sydney after being knocked out cold in the match.
Back-rower Radike Samo (shoulder) and winger Digby Ioane (knee) travelled with the team but are also in some doubt.
Queensland Reds back Luke Morahan and Melbourne Rebels lock Cadeyrn Neville will join the squad for the Rosario Test in central Argentina, although Morahan could be delayed with visa issues.
Polota-Nau was unable to turn his head the day after the game due to neck and back soreness but believed he would recover in time to take on the Pumas, who will be looking to rebound from a 54-15 loss to New Zealand.
The NSW rake said the way his teammates never gave up when they were down on numbers and a hiding was in the offing was an inspiration.
"What inspires me to play alongside those guys is just the character they showed for the whole 80 minutes," he said.
"It would have been easy to give up a cricket score really but the guys hung in there which was great to see."
He said they will need to call on that pride and courage in Argentina.
"There's nothing more honourable than to put the gold jersey on," Polota-Nau said.
"We've said that from the start and it's shown what pride we have in that gold jersey."
Australia were forced to come from behind to post a 23-19 win over Argentina in their Test on the Gold Coast and Polota-Nau said beating the proud Pumas on their home turf was a massive challenge.
"Getting some feedback from the Boks, who've already played there, they're really passionate and in particular the crowd.
"They'll be coming out to get their first win of the championship and make a statement that they belong."
The 27-year-old didn't believe there were any issues with the Wallabies' injury management or training loads despite the list of injured players climbing to over two dozen.
"It's definitely just bad luck. You can't fault the medical staff. They're working their butts off day in and out.
"You can't fault the injury management."
While the pressure continues to mount on coach Robbie Deans, he still has the support of ARU boss John O'Neill, at least until the end of the year.
While the injury toll may cruel Australia's chances on the field, it could actually save his job. AAP