NZ Warriors chief executive Cameron George is preparing for the real possibility the revised NRL competition will go ahead without them.
While George remains hopeful the Warriors will receive clearance from Australian border security early next week, the club now faces the harshest of realities.
Speaking to Newshub, George reveals they have to start planning for the uncomfortable truth they may not play again this season.
"If we don't get exemption, we just won't be in the competition this year sadly," George says. "We have amazing players and families that work extremely hard to be a part of this year.
"You know it's going to be challenging for us to accept that, but we will respect the position of the Australian government."
But the impact of that decision could be devastating on the long-term future of the club. George says, while there are a few positives in not competing this season, the flow-on effect financially would be devastating.
With that in mind, George is willing to send the players to Australia as late as possible - even if it was past the May 4 deadline for team training and isolation at the planned New South Wales base.
"There's a myriad of opportunities that still exist in the comp - whether they can delay the start, or alternatively, we may be able to play some catch-up games at a later date."
At this point, only players and staff would travel, and that degree of uncertainty weighs heavily on the Warriors families.
"It's frustrating, and I feel their frustrations and I share it.
"It's important that we find out sooner rather than later, and try and allay that frustration, and give our guys [and their families] as much time as we can to plan."
In the meantime, the holding pattern continues
"We are expecting to hear in the early part of this week and we need to be prepared to go."
The alternative is not one the Warriors want to contemplate.