Top English and French clubs have hinted at possible legal action against World Rugby's proposals for a world league.
England's Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) and France's National Rugby League (LNR) joined together on Monday to express their opposition to World Rugby's controversial proposed annual Nations Championship. That would see the Six Nations' best sides facing off with the top Test teams from the Rugby Championship, plus two further nations drawn into that Southern Hemisphere competition.
Worldwide rugby's leading players have demanded a seat at the negotiating table as the game's global body attempts to hammer out a way forward for the test programme.
The players' council of IRP held a conference call on Tuesday night to thrash out their way forward, and the result has been these new demands of the game's power brokers.
World Rugby reduced the schedule by removing the semi-final stage, with player welfare continuing to be a central consideration.
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and Australia skipper Michael Hooper have demanded World Rugby appoint an independent players' representative on their decision-making executive committee.
"I would like to thank my union, competition and player representative colleagues for their candid, constructive and positive contributions", England's World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said.
"We are encouraged that the format revisions and robust financial model has been well-received".
Among other announcements made by World Rugby, the proposed new format would be "underpinned by a record commercial partnership" with marketing company Infront, which they say will guarantee nearly £5 billion ($6.6 billion/€5.9 billion) for investment in the sport over 12 years.
"The players feel that the existing understanding between World Rugby and the Players should evolve from a loose commitment to consult, to a requirement to reach agreement on certain key issues", said former South Africa captain Jean De Villiers.
"It's in the interest of our game that World Rugby and the unions convene with the playing population so that proper solutions can be agreed".
"The proposed business model covers both media and marketing rights but does not include any sale of equity in the competition and therefore full control of the competition and its revenue redistribution model would be retained by the unions, the current major competitions and World Rugby".
The two competitions claimed that the proposed multi-tiered Nations Championship goes against an agreement among stakeholders two years ago to cement the global rugby schedule through until 2032, by including more tests in November and December. We have an opportunity to change the landscape of the game for the long-term betterment of all unions.