Cape Town - Vunipola brothers Billy and Mako, as well as prop Ellis Genge, have left England’s tour of South Africa ahead of the third and final Test in Cape Town on Saturday.
No 8 Billy Vunipola re-fractured his arm in Saturday's 23-12 loss to the Springboks in Bloemfontein which meant the home side clinched the series 2-0 with a match to spare.
He spent four months on the sidelines this year after breaking his arm in a European Champions Cup tie for his club Saracens, and was forced off again on Saturday before half-time.
Prop Mako Vunipola is heading back to England for family reasons by prior arrangement with team management, while Genge sustained a knee injury in training.
Exeter Chiefs' Alec Hepburn has been called up as a front-row replacement.
Hepburn, 25, has two caps, both in this year’s Six Nations, and will link up with the squad at their training base outside Durban ahead of the final Test.
The Boks could inflict a sixth Test defeat in a row on Eddie Jones’ ailing side.
England have not lost six Tests in a row since they went on a seven-match losing streak in 2006, though they made the Rugby World Cup final the following year, losing to South Africa