Brumbies flanker Scott Fardy says the disappointing handling of the Super Rugby competition has come as no surprise but hopes the 'faceless men in suits' at SANZAAR learn from the debacle.
The Super Rugby season has been marred by constant speculation over the future of one Australian franchise, as the governing body weighed up ways to fix the ailing competition.
The result of months of talks was to reduce the number of teams from 18 to 15 with two South African teams and one from Australia to be kicked out.
The Brumbies were spared the axe when the ARU announced last week it would be either the Western Force or Melbourne Rebels to be cut from the competition in 2018, but an initial 72-hour deadline on which club will be cut was thrown out the window when the two franchises threatened legal action.
As round eight of Super Rugby approaches, the two under-threat Australian teams are yet to learn their fate.
'It's disappointing it's taken this long but is anyone surprised? This is the game we're in, it's been like this for a long time,' Fardy said.
'The officialdom in this game has always been like that.'
While the ARU has come under fire for their handling of the process, the Test back-rower said Super Rugby's governing body lacked a public face.
'Obviously everyone looks at the ARU at the moment but you wouldn't know who the head of SANZAAR is at any point - I wouldn't know what he looks like,' Fardy said.
'In other sports, especially in Australia, you have a head we can look at. In SANZAAR rugby we don't know who is running it.
'It's faceless men in suits in board rooms.'
Fardy, who is leaving the Brumbies at the end of the season to join Irish powerhouse Leinster, said he felt for Force and Rebels players, as well as others affected by a moratorium on contract talks for non-Wallabies.
'It's guys' livelihoods,' Fardy said.
'It's incredibly tough for players to have go through that.'
He said he supported the Rugby Union Players' Association's position of backing five Australian teams, but accepted Super Rugby needed structural change.
'I'm hoping that with all that stuff we get change so we're not having these conversations in five or ten years' time,' Fardy said.
'Hopefully we see changes for the benefit of rugby and this competition gets better from it.'