Force and Rebels face agonising wait
One of these two teams will be scrapped in favour of a revamped 15-team Super Rugby competition in 2018.
The ARU were going to finalise their decision before the end of this week. However, (ARU) Chairman Cameron Clyne said their initial plan has been scrapped.
"The ARU will undertake due process to ensure that both the Melbourne Rebels and Western Force are given adequate opportunity to present their business case before the Board makes a final decision on which team to be removed," said Clyne.
"We maintain our commitment to reaching a resolution on this matter as soon as possible. However, the timeline that we initially anticipated of 48-72 hours will not apply.
"As confirmed on Monday, we have commenced a consultation process with both teams and will provide an update at an appropriate time."
The two other teams being scrapped from the competition will come from South Africa – rumoured to be the Southern Kings and Cheetahs.
Rugby Western Australia has launched legal action against the Australian Rugby Union in a bid to keep the Western Force afloat as the axe hovers over the team and backlash builds.
A writ against the governing body was lodged on Monday, Western Australia's rugby body said, notifying the ARU of the intention to apply for an injunction against any plan to revoke the Perth-based team's licence.