Scottish Rugby Union chiefs are keeping "an open mind" on a possible rescue bid to save Border Reivers from closure at the end of the season.
Border Reivers could be axed in a cost-cutting measure
The SRU said it would hold talks with Graham Garvie, who heads the Borders Rugby Action Group, if it receives a "credible" business proposal.
Following the SRU's review, Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors will be Scotland's only professional clubs next term.
But its decision to disband the Reivers sparked anger and calls for protest.
The SRU said it would meet Border Reivers' chairman David Kilshaw next Tuesday to discuss the matter.
Scottish Rugby will consider meeting the former Edinburgh Rugby board member Graham Garvie
Borders councillor Garvie resigned from the Edinburgh Rugby board to spearhead the campaign to save the Reivers from closure.
And he said: "Fortunately our business plan doesn't require a penny from the SRU, so it looks very much like a deal can be done.
"We hope to have our deal concluded by Thursday evening before the meeting of the Scottish clubs in Edinburgh.
"Now that Andy has agreed to consider our bid it could be a win/win situation for everybody.
"The Borders stays in the pro-rugby business, the SRU saves money, Scotland's three places in the Magners League are secured, the European dimension is clarified and the Scottish rugby fraternity gets some good news to cheer about."
The new action group and Borders Council carried a newspaper advert earlier this week urging protests at Murrayfield during Friday's game between Edinburgh and Newport Gwent Dragons.
A statement from the SRU said: "Scottish Rugby will consider meeting the former Edinburgh Rugby board member Graham Garvie, but only after it has received a credible business proposal from Mr Garvie which outlines how his group would propose to fund and run a viable professional team in the Borders."
Hawick coach Jim Hay said he was not optimistic about the Reivers' future.
"It's a sad day when the Borders is to close, once was bad enough nine years ago but twice is just neglect on a grand scale," he said.
"The future does not look too bright. This is a proud rugby area, the heartland of Scottish rugby and the SRU have just broken that heart in one decision."