Israel Folau's path back to the NRL will only come if a club makes an official application for a contract, after he was denied a meeting with league bosses.
Folau's camp have made several moves for his return to the NRL, after his move back to rugby league from the 15-man game with French club Catalans last year.
The latest push included a request for a meeting with NRL hierarchy.
But the NRL has told the dual-code star there is no point in any discussions with the governing body, given it will only consider player registrations when a club puts forward an application.
Bosses did, however, inform Folau's camp they were open to a meeting with the outside back should a club support his move.
The knockback leaves Folau's chances of returning to the NRL in significant doubt.
It is unlikely any club will take the risk after the negative attention St George Illawarra received earlier this month when they began the process to sign Folau, before pulling the pin.
The NRL has previously indicated it does not see a spot for Folau in the game after his homophobic social media posts resulted in his axing by Rugby Australia.
Yet the NRL is open to considering any new application and weighing up if any requirements could be met for Folau to play in the competition for the first time since 2010.
The 31-year-old remains contracted to Catalans for another season in the UK Super League, but is in Australia over a family matter.