Having announced in March that he intended to leave Ulster at the end of the season "for family reasons," head coach Jono Gibbes spoke openly to RTÉ about how "being a long way from home for the last ten years has made me prioritise things above my career."
Describing how difficult a decision it had been "professionally," Gibbes explained how he was "excited for what the future holds" for Ulster.
In what has been a complex year for the province, reports in the French newspaper L'Equipe suggest that Gibbes may not be going home after all.
According to reports, Gibbes is scheduled to visit the French Top 14 club La Rochelle tomorrow with a view to succeeding Patrice Collazo.
Interesting to hear that Jono Gibbes is scheduled to visit La Rochelle tomorrow with a view to succeeding Patrice Collazo. Was due to return to New Zealand but has experience of coaching in France with Clermont. https://t.co/UaEVIQGN5m
— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) May 16, 2018
Having previously worked as a forward's coach with Clermont, Gibbes possesses a certain knowledge of the league.
However, alongside his stated desire to return home, it is perhaps more confusing that Gibbes would engage with such a meeting in La Rochelle ahead of what is perhaps Ulster's most important game of the season.
Scheduled to play Ospreys in Belfast on Sunday afternoon, the match will decide which of the two sides qualify for next year's Champions Cup.
A momentous money-maker for clubs involved, the prestige of playing in the tournament is similarly something Ulster would hate to miss out on. Should the reports be accurate, it would appear an incredibly odd decision on Gibbes' part to be interviewing for another role only days before such a big game.
Visiting them a few days before our last and most important game this season!!
— Ian Frizzell (@rava_ian) May 16, 2018
There will undoubtedly be more to follow on this story in the coming hours and days.