D-day has arrived.
After many delays, deliberation and blueprint changes, the immediate future of the Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup tests and Super Rugby will be decided at a Sanzaar meeting on Thursday night.
Many possibilities remain on the table – from calling off the Rugby Championship this year to staging the four-nation tournament in Australia or New Zealand.
In recent weeks, Australia is believed to have navigated its way into the position of front-runner to host the tournament after the Herald revealed problems with New Zealand's quarantine plans.
The New Zealand Government is understood to have issues with all foreign teams quarantining at the same time, as well as the size of the bubbles, and there is a reluctance to let teams train until their two-week isolation is fulfilled here.
Following three months of detailed planning such a hardline stance is understood to have left New Zealand Rugby frustrated, with the comparative quarantine conservatism likely to be the deal-breaker and effectively kill off hopes of hosting the Rugby Championship.
New Zealand's quarantine complications ultimately left the door ajar for Rugby Australia to hatch a plan to stage the tournament from November.
Australia's pitch to host the tournament centres on New South Wales, with the State Government understood to be willing to offer financial support to lure major events that help alleviate the challenging Covid-19 economic climate.
The AFL shifting out of Melbourne for the first time has added to the momentum of attracting other sporting events.
Other than their willingness to adapt, Australia's major trump card is that teams quarantining there can train at high class facilities from the day they arrive.
The same was true when the Warriors relocated to the New South Wales city of Tamworth in early May before resuming the NRL, while the Wellington Phoenix did likewise before competing in the A-League.
If Australia manage to steal the Rugby Championship hosting, the Herald understands the first two Bledisloe Cup matches will be pushed back one week and staged on October 17 and 24, likely to be in Auckland and Wellington.
If New Zealand Rugby somehow manages to convince the Government to ease its strict quarantine measures, the first two Bledisloe tests will proceed as originally planned on October 10 and 17 in Australia.
While much recent focus has been on six Pumas players testing positive for Covid-19, South Africa's decision on whether they are willing to send the under prepared world champion Springboks to compete will have a major bearing on the Rugby Championship's fate.
Rugby in the Republic is not due to resume until October 3. Any Springboks team will, therefore, be well behind New Zealand and Australia's conditioned athletes who have been competing domestically for several months.
The other complication for South Africa is many of their players would be asked to fly downunder and then return to immediately play for their European clubs.
Collectively, Sanzaar must assess whether the costs associated with the Rugby Championship - flying and accommodating extended squads and staging games - is financially viable when there is no way to predict to what extent crowds will be able to attend matches.
New Zealand appears on track to return to alert level 1 by November, which would allow full attendance, while Rugby Australia has pitched 50 to 75 per cent crowds but another Covid-19 outbreak could strike at any time.
Should this occur in either country, matches could be called off and broadcast revenue may be pulled, leaving the respective unions exposed to further huge losses.
Another major part of the puzzle involves South Africa indicating where their Super Rugby future lies.
In recent weeks, the Port Elizabeth-based Southern Kings franchise folded for this year due to financial constraints while the Cheetahs coach, Hawies Fourie, is understood to have been shopped around European clubs, indicating the Bloemfontein team could be the next side cut.
The Pro14 is believed to have offered four spots for South African franchises and with significant private equity money on the table, linking with the north appears the likely route.
There are, however, concerns within South Africa about playing rugby in the sweltering summer heat and competing for airtime with cricket.
South Africa's other option is to stage a domestic competition and next year join a cross-border playoff tournament involving the best teams from New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and possibly Japan which is being eyed for the May to June window.