Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley still feels Australia can support five Super Rugby teams but said now the call has been made, there was little players could do.
Foley, who was in Wallabies camp last week with some of the players who are in the centre of the Super Rugby storm, said he could see it impacting his interstate colleagues.
“I've got really good mates in both Melbourne...and I stay in contact with them and they have worried about stuff like that,” he said.
“They do talk, they are open in what's unsure for them, what their future looks like and where they're going to be.
“In that regard, it is unsettling for players and performance and everything like that but for us here we feel for them but we have to control what we can control.”
Foley was a vocal advocate for five Australian Super Rugby teams before the announcement was made and said he still felt that was the best format.
“Definitely, five teams are viable but they've made that decision,” he said.
“They've had a lot of time to make that decision and they've made it. They've looked into it, so it's out of our control.
“We can't have an influence on that anymore so we're just going to have to work with whatever's given to us.
“As a playing cohort, we've just got to go out there and do our best. It was disappointing to see them cut a team or for the format to change and it’s something I was personally against.
“It's a game that we all love and want to be able to produce great talent from all over Australia, whether it be Perth or Melbourne, there’s a lot of youngsters coming through that those avenues are probably shut now.”
Foley said it hadn’t been discussed within the Waratahs setup, with their 2017 campaign just as pressing an issue for them.
The Waratahs squad came into training on Monday bearing a long rope that stretched over each of their shoulders
“It was just a little symbol that we have spoken about, removing ourselves from the last block of games and looking forward to the next month of footy,” he said.
“It's really big, really important for us as a team and that was a bit of a symbol of the way we want to move forward.
“We're all a part of the rope and we're all attached to it and we're going to be the ones moving it forward.
Despite opening the season with a 2-5 record, the Waratahs still find themselves in touch with the Brumbies, seven points clear on top of the Australian conference, and Foley said they’d taken a practical approach to their bye week.
“It wasn't a witch hunt or a soul search at all,” he said.
“Guys got away, we probably looked or analyzed what we've been doing well and how we can improve on that and that's what we have to take going forward these next couple of games is what we do we'll and just play to our strengths.”
The Waratahs take on the Kings on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on RUGBY.com.au.