Chris Lendrum, New Zealand Rugby's head of the professional game, remains hopeful the Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua franchises can join Super Rugby next year.
Both have been granted conditional licences. It comes five months after NZR confirmed that the two franchises were its preferred partners to explore the entry of Pasifika-linked teams in future professional competitions.
Lendrum describes one hinge to their involvement.
"The challenge has always been for Pasifika coming into professional competitions is to show they are financially sustainable to do so. We're being doing a lot of work with them, still a bit to come, but they are in a good space at the moment."
He says they've committed to the cause as a means of gaining public traction and exposure.
"That's going to help them with a platform to finish off those business plans to secure the final funding they need, put together a sustainable PNL, and also start to contract players and coaches and sponsors."
Moana Pasifika took the field for the first time last December when they played the Māori All Blacks, while the Fijian Drua were established in 2017, winning the Australian National Rugby Championship a year later.