New Zealand Rugby has pulled the handbrake on hopes of having two Pacific Island teams in next year's Super Rugby competition, despite a major cash injection from the sport's global governing body.
World Rugby has committed NZ$2.3million for Moana Pacifika and Fijian Drua - a move hailed as the crucial step needed to finally secure a Pasifika presence in the competition.
But NZR officials are adamant - there's still a long way to go with several key conditions needing to be met to allow it all to happen.
"There is still work to be done, finances can't be pulled together overnight," says Chris Lendrum, NZR's Head of Professional Rugby.
"Legal agreement terms can't be agreed overnight and then obviously there's the issue of contracting players and coaches.
"Details like that will take time and we are not there yet.
"We remain positive in terms of their establishment for next year and both Moana Pasifika and Fiji Drua know that and there's still work to be done."
A decision on if the Pacific Island rugby community will be jumping for joy in the next few weeks.
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