Munster have experienced a difficult start to the season, with their mixed form in the URC being capped off by a defeat in their Champions Cup opener against Toulouse last weekend.
There is no doubt that the team is rebuilding under Graham Rowntree, although supporters perhaps would have been hoping for better results to begin the campaign.
They also look set to lose a reliable contributor in the weeks ahead, despite the fact that he only recently arrived.
John Ryan rejoined the province in October, having been made redundant by Wasps due to their financial issues. However, he was only given a three month contract at that time.
He has since agreed a deal to join Super Rugby side Chiefs, moving to New Zealand at the end of January. That is likely to leave Munster short in the front row.
Donal Lenihan questions Munster's handling of John Ryan
John Ryan only left Munster to join Wasps last summer, spending only a few months in England before returning.
Speaking on the RTÉ rugby podcast, Donal Lenihan said he believes that the province have since handled his return very poorly. He also criticised their decision to allow him to play for the Barbarians against a New Zealand XV during the most recent test window, with his performance in that game leading directly to his move to Chiefs.
The thing that annoys me in the business around John Ryan is that firstly he should never have been let go in the first place. That was at the end of last year and therefore you had issues with the budget and balancing the budget...
With Wasps going in administration John Ryan became available overnight. In my mind Munster should have tied him up for the season there and then, they gave him a three-month contract so therefore that was only a half commitment.
Because he had a three-month contract, and I don’t know this for certain but I would imagine, he had already agreed to play for the Barbarians in those games against the All Blacks XV, because he wanted to use that to put him in the shop window.
It’s almost a case of you reap what you sow. Angus Ta'avao got injured for the Chiefs, John Ryan played with some New Zealand players with the Barbarians in two games and against the New Zealand XV in that game.
So all of a sudden when the Chiefs need a tighthead prop, somebody came up, 'oh jeez, your man John Ryan who is available is really impressive’.
Had Munster tied him up for the year, he wouldn’t have been available, had they not agreed to let him play for the Barbarians when he should have been playing down in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, then this wouldn’t have come up.
Munster are the architects of their own downfall in this and I think this will come back to bite them in the a**e by the end of the season.
Munster will be hoping that Ryan's departure does not have a major negative impact on their season moving forward, although losing an option in the front row could prove to be costly towards the business end of the season.
As for the player himself, he is probably looking forward to the opportunity to testing himself in a new league.