Foundation Rebels prop Laurie Weeks has warned rugby will "never make it back here" if the ARU decide to cut the Rebels from Super Rugby.
While Melbourne have one eye on their must-win clash with the Reds on Saturday night, Weeks and the rest of the Rebels squad are having a hard time keeping their eyes away from ongoing SANZAAR speculation and reports his franchise is set to sue the ARU.
He says that has affected their work on field and if their performances against the Kings and Lions are anything to go by, Weeks has hit the nail on the head.
"It's affecting a lot of guys personally and just with the doubts about our future - it's transferred onto the field," Weeks said.
"Our focus just has to be on the game itself and the upcoming game - that's the only way to take it at the moment."We've worked really hard over the past seven years to build rugby up in Melbourne so if Australia loses rugby in Melbourne, they'd never make it back here."
Given the state of the Australian Conference, Weeks has a point.
If it's to happen, Melbourne will need to start producing better quality rugby, as their last two outings have been painful viewing.
They face the Reds on Saturday night who aren't in any sort of high flying form themselves.
Though it has to be said that the standard of rugby the Queenslanders have produced in patches this season is still better than anything the Rebels have done to date.
"If you look at the ladder, we are still in the mix," he said.
"When we play the Australian teams those Ws are twice as important."The Rebels' poor form can be attributed to its lengthy injury list in some part, as there are few squads in Super Rugby that could cope with having so many frontline players wearing suits on the sidelines each week.
But they aren't passing the eye test when it comes to the most basic facet of good rugby - consistently high effort levels.
It doesn't matter if a player is a Super Rugby debutant or a 100-cap veteran, that is the minimum requirement at the professional level and in the second half against the Kings and Lions that requirement was not met.
Two players that have been anything but passengers in the depths of the injury crisis are Will Miller and Hugh Sinclair.
Weeks said showing the likes of Miller and Sinclair the difference between Shute Shield and Super Rugby could only be a good thing for the club's depth moving forward.
"The leadership they've shown around the club since coming in has been amazing," he said of the Northern Suburbs pair.
"I know that they're leaders back at their own clubs and they have shown why at training.
"In the review processes of games and stuff as well and on field they have performed really well."
The Rebels host the Reds on Saturday night at AAMI Park, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and on radio at RUGBY.com.au.