Wales captain Sam Warburton has been stuck in limbo after Cardiff Blues confirmed they are unable to pick him for Friday's friendly against Exeter.
Warburton is a victim of the dispute between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions and cannot be selected until a new participation agreement has been thrashed out.
The 25-year-old British and Irish Lion has recovered from the shoulder injury that prematurely ended last season only to be caught up in the civil war that shows no sign of abating.
The Blues play Exeter and then travel to Leicester on August 29 for their final friendly before Guinness PRO 12 action begins against Zebre nine days later.
The situation leaves Warburton in serious danger of missing the start of the competitive season.
"Until the services agreement has been sorted we unfortunately can't pick Sam and so he won't be involved against Exeter," Blues attack coach Paul John said.
"I've been told by the region that, at the moment, he is unable to play for us.
"Until everything is signed and sealed that will be the case. As soon as it is done we will crack on."