South Africa's continued participation in rugby's Super 14 hangs in the balance.
There's disagreement between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa over the timing of the competition when the current competition agreement expires at the end of next year's competition.
From 2011 the New Zealand and Austrailan unions want a March start to the competition rather than the current February kick-off, which South Africa prefers.
The chief executive of the New Zealand rugby union Steve Tew says Australia and New Zealand are now drawing up plans for an alternative competition involving Japan but he's still optimistic South Africa will be involved.
He says the disagreement won't have any impact on the Tri Nations tournament.
Tew says they need to have a competition agreed on by the end of June, so they can present it to television broadcasters.