AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 25: Andrew Fifita and Jason Taumalolo of Tonga embrace during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between Tonga and England at Mt Smart Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

NRL clubs could decide whether their players from second-tier nations are able to compete in England later this year should the 2021 World Cup continue to go ahead.

According to The Daily Telegrapha decision on whether the UK Government will continue their push to get the tournament underway is set to be decided in the coming days.

With Australia and New Zealand pulling out of the World Cup, the competition is facing a below ideal showcase.

While some of the NRL's best players won't be able to represent the Kangaroos or Kiwis, those tied to second-tier nations or have dual representative flexibility could still be able to compete.

The NRL is not permitted to deny players from representing their country should they be looking to do so at the World Cup, according to The Daily Telegraph.

This could open opportunities for the likes of Jason Taumalolo (Tonga) or Viliame Kikau (Fiji) to venture to the Northern Hemisphere under their club's permission.

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 29: Jason Taumalolo of Tonga looks on during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between Scotland and Tonga at Barlow Park on October 29, 2017 in Cairns, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

With these nations still planning for the World Cup to be given the green light, their reliance on NRL stars could spark tension between the international and domestic sides.

Clubs are understood not to be looking to have their key players shipped overseas amidst a global pandemic, with the added workload of the World Cup also likely placing them behind in pre-season preparations.

However, with the league currently unable to intervene, the stand-off is likely going to be settled between the player, his club and representative nation.