World Cup organisers will anonymously survey NRL players on whether they feel safe attending the tournament before making a final call on the competition's fate.
Tournament officials met with several NRL club CEOs on Thursday evening, before fronting a media call to make their pledge for the World Cup to go ahead.
In the call, club bosses pushed for the World Cup to be postponed another year and expressed their concerns over the safety and welfare of players after the Kangaroos and Kiwis' withdrawals.
But World Cup CEO Jon Dutton promised the safety of players despite the COVID-19 outbreak in England, adamant they could provide a safe bubble for the tournament.
Realistically, a decision on whether the World Cup goes ahead will rest on whether NRL players are released by their clubs to feature in the October-November tournament.
But Dutton insisted that decision should still be made by the players, and not their clubs.
"While respecting the club position and respecting the federation position, this is ultimately all about the player choice and player voice," Dutton said.
"We will listen to the players, seek their views and make the most informed decision from that.
"We want to survey them with a simple question. An anonymised yes or no so we get a clear representation.
"The worst scenario for us would be to forge ahead and find that other players and nations don't get on the plane to the UK."
NRL players have largely voiced their desire to feature in the tournament, with their union last week complaining their voices had not been listened to.
A decision on whether to play, postpone or cancel the tournament altogether is then likely early next week.
Organisers remain angry over the ARL Commission and NZRL's decisions to withdraw, with Dutton furious with the lack of notice and claiming it had damaged the international game.
But with players having been in bubbles for the majority of the past 14 months, he sympathised with welfare concerns.
That in itself formed part of ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys' call to pull Australia from the tournament, fearing more time in hotels for players who caught the virus.
Clubs will not be forced by the NRL to release their players as they ordinarily would for representative football, putting them in a difficult predicament.
"We wanted to (meet with the CEOs to) put the record straight," Dutton said.
"The meeting we had was conciliatory, positive and respectful. We absolutely fully understand their position.
"They put forward their view on the reasons why they don't want their players to come. On the safe environment, we will absolutely provide a safe environment.
"It's more complicated than simply not wanting the players to come, and that's why we need a bit more time to work through."
Meanwhile, Dutton said they wanted to replace the Kangaroos and Kiwis with "like-for-like teams", with Indigenous and Maori sides legitimate options being considered by the IRL.
Dutton pointed to precedence in the Aotearoa Maori playing in the 2000 tournament.
Australian Associated Press