Australia face the prospect of taking on South Africa next week with no red-ball match practice since the Ashes, after the squad fled rain-swept Potchefstroom on Monday morning.
Australia were scheduled to play against a South African Invitational XI in a four-day match starting on Wednesday in the rural town, which has been lashed with rain since Michael Clarke's men arrived last week.
But team management consulted with Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the game was cancelled on Monday morning due to the forecast of more heavy rain at the water-logged Senwes Park.
The scrapped fixture was to be the tourists' only tune-up on foreign soil before the highly-anticipated three-Test series against the world No.1 side starts in Centurion on Wednesday week.
The tour match was to be crucial in determining the final makeup of Australia's team for the opening Test, with selectors yet to make a call on who will replace dumped batsman George Bailey in Australia's middle order.
Bailey endured a lacklustre summer, compiling 183 runs at a modest average of 26, and was not selected in Australia's 15-man squad.
Uncapped Tasmanian Alex Doolan is understood to be the front-runner for his spot, with Phil Hughes his only rival.
Former opener Hughes, dropped four times in a stop-start Test career, is back in the country where he dazzled on debut in 2009.
The then 20-year-old became the youngest player to score centuries in both innings of a Test when he flayed an attack featuring Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini and Morne Morkel.
Doolan has featured prominently in national selectors' thoughts for much of the past two years, having made 161 against South Africa at the SCG in 2012.
The 28-year-old would have made his Test debut at the SCG last month had Watson not recovered from a groin injury.
But the pair appear unlikely to get a chance to impress outside of the nets now, with the squad travelling to Johannesburg on Monday where they will have a training session at Centurion on Tuesday.
"CSA have been very accommodating in assisting us relocate to Johannesburg, providing us with more flexibility with our training options," Australia team manager Gavin Dovey said.
It appears highly unlikely any sort of formal tour match will be played.
"It is playing havoc at the moment, the weather. But we have to do what we can," spearhead Mitchell Johnson told reporters before news of the surprise shift.
"...I'm not too worried about the rain to be honest. I had a really good session yesterday and I feel confident.
"A fair bit of rain is forecast but I think that's around most of the country as well. So they (South Africa) would be in the same boat as us.
"We'd like to get that practice game in to get a bit more bowling under our belts in these conditions, to get used to it.
"But if it doesn't happen that way, a lot of us have played over in these conditions and we can help each other out.
"And you do adapt very quickly."