Players' union general president Daly Cherry-Evans claims there would have been a stand-off with the ARL Commission had players been consulted on Australia's Rugby League World Cup withdrawal.
The fallout from the exits of the Kangaroos and Kiwis due to safety and welfare concerns during the pandemic will continue on Monday night, with a meeting to determine the tournament's fate.
The Rugby League Players' Association has already made no secret of their frustration over the issue, claiming players were not given a choice in the call.
Cherry-Evans sits in arguably one of the most unique positions.
He is one of the most influential figures in the game as RLPA general president, but is also the incumbent Kangaroos' captain.
Had Australia toured, it's most likely the Manly halfback would have been part of the squad, fighting it out with Nathan Cleary for the No.7 jersey.
And asked if he personally would have liked more say on the issue, Cherry-Evans claimed players and officials would have battled to find common ground.
"That's a really hard one to answer because I reckon it would have been one hell of a stand-off," Cherry-Evans said.
"Because the players wanted to go and the game probably knew that, which is probably why they didn't want to consult us.
"So, of course we would have loved to have been given a bit more of a heads up on it but we do understand the game's acting within the best interests at heart.
"There obviously is definitely an element of disappointment for sure, it's a World Cup and I'm not getting any younger.
"So it'd be nice to hopefully have been involved."
Cherry-Evans also joined his Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga and Kiwis mentor Michael Maguire in hoping the competition will be postponed by a year.
But he is realistic that is unlikely to be the case.
The tournament's board will meet on Monday night in the UK to decide whether to go ahead with, postpone or cancel the event.
Any decision is likely to come down to UK government funding, but the initial thought that playing this year or cancelling would be prioritised ahead of postponement.
One solution could include Indigenous and Maori teams entering in the Kangaroos' and Kiwis' place, an alternative that organisers are open to exploring.
International Rugby League chair Troy Grant has also told AAP his strong preference is for the tournament to go ahead this year.
"I know I've got my fingers crossed that they might postpone it but doesn't look likely does it?" Cherry-Evans said.
"It's definitely going to be a weird spectacle if Australia and New Zealand aren't in it.
"I can completely understand if they're going to continue the competition but I wouldn't begrudge the people who were making those decisions to continue on.
"Because there's a lot more at stake than just Australia and New Zealand."
Australian Associated Press