The Melbourne Rebels are adamant they'll remain, as the unthinkable prospect of the Brumbies being cut from Super Rugby looms larger.
As Australia's three endangered franchises were left on tenterhooks for a fifth day since SANZAAR officials thrashed out recommendations for a new model in 2018, whispers of the Brumbies being firmly in the firing line emerged.
The Brumbies' apparent fight for survival was news to chief executive Michael Thomson.
"There are a lot of rumours swirling about. All sorts of possible scenarios, but we haven't heard anything," Thomson said. "We know that SANZAAR are continuing to work through it. They have a lot of different parties they need to talk to and once they come to a resolution they will let us know."
Tellingly, however, Australia's most successful Super Rugby outfit admitted moving to Melbourne was a possible option. "You can't rule anything out or anything in, but Canberra is our home and I don't see that changing," Thomson said when asked about a relocation.
Such a scenario raises the prospect of the privately-owned Rebels and cash-strapped Brumbies merging, with SANZAAR expected to announce a reduction in the number of teams from 18 to possibly 15 at the end of the week after meetings with stakeholders.
Almost certainly one of Australia's five sides would go, as well as two teams from South Africa, most likely the Kings and one other.
Most observers expected the Rebels or Western Force to face the chop, but there is now speculation about the Brumbies moving from Canberra to Melbourne, where they could capitalise on a bigger population and more corporate dollars.
Just how that would sit with the Rebels remains to be seen.
One thing is certain, though: the Rebels have no plans on shutting up shop in 2018.
"We are here, we're focused on this season, we're focused on playing the Chiefs (on Saturday) and we don't consider ourselves at any risk of not being in the 2018 competition and beyond," Rebels chief executive Andrew Cox said on Wednesday.
"We're disappointed with the distraction this process has created and is creating and ultimately all we're focused on is playing the Chiefs."
Cutting the Brumbies would send shock waves through Australian rugby.
Apart from being Australia's most successful club with two Super Rugby titles from six finals, the Brumbies have produced an endless supply of all-time greats including George Smith, George Gregan, Steve Larkham and Stirling Mortlock, while iconic winger David Campese also hailed from the city.
But while the Force and the Rebels can't match the Brumbies' on-field success, there is a feeling Perth and Melbourne offer more potential growth for the game in the bigger markets than Canberra does.
Melbourne and Perth's geography and time zones are also more attractive for television and travel, particularly for South African teams.