ACT Brumbies boss Phil Thomson has called for trans-Tasman collaboration to help rugby thrive in both countries as club officials nervously await a verdict on the code's future.
News out of New Zealand Rugby's Aratipu review has suggested a preferred competition model involving five Kiwi teams and either two or three from Australia.
That would be disastrous for Rugby Australia, which is trying to negotiate a new broadcast deal and competition structure to save the code.
The uncertainty has forced Australian sides to postpone contract negotiations with players, and sponsors, including the Brumbies' major partner Plus500, are waiting for competition clarity for 2021 before commiting.
"We certainly need a decision sooner rather than later and within the next month would be in the ideal timeline," Thomson said.
"The trans-Tasman competition would be good and probably the preferred option. I think Rugby Australia and New Zealand both need each other and we are working towards getting that type of competition up and running."
Rugby Australia officials remain firm in their stance a 10-team model is the best option for the code moving forward.
The axe could soon hover over another Australian club as officials brace for harsh conversations about whether the nation boasts the depth to sustain five teams.
Rugby Australia officials hope all five of its existing Super Rugby AU clubs will feature in a revamped trans-Tasman competition alongside five New Zealand teams next year.
However officials will need to analyse the costs involved with entering five teams and whether Australian rugby would be better suited to consolidate its player strength across four teams.
Should up to two Australian sides be culled, it is believed the three teams in the box seat for a trans-Tasman competition licence would be the Brumbies, NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds.
It could leave the Western Force fighting for their Super Rugby survival once more, after the club was axed in a messy fiasco following the 2017 season. The Force have been welcomed back into the Super Rugby AU fold this year.
The other club in the mix is the Melbourne Rebels, who are in their 10th season but are yet to feature in a finals series.
Conversations about player depth loom will be crucial as Rugby Australia officials are keen to support successful franchises who boast the ability to compete with and beat their New Zealand-based counterparts.
There are concerns spreading the talent pool too thin could see some Australian teams struggle to compete with rivals from across the ditch and struggle to retain supporters as a result.