Damian De Allende today confirmed that he will be leaving Munster the end of season, but will not be joining his current coach Johann Van Graan at Bath.
The news of his departure will not have come as a shock to anyone, as it was all but decided with the announcement that Malakai Fekitoa would be joining Munster next season.
This has given Munster fans ample time to adjust to the fact that they will be without arguably their best performer over the past two seasons.
However, it does come as a slight surprise that the rumours of the centre joining Bath will not be coming true, after Van Graan and Munster defence coach JP Ferreira had announced they would be joining the English club.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) March 29, 2022
De Allende explained earlier that he would not be staying in Europe, while he also spoke of his fond memories of playing with Munster, and his wish to end the season on a high-note.
“I'm not staying, but it hasn't been confirmed where I'm going. I'm not staying in Europe, so I'm definitely not going to Bath, I haven't spoken to anyone at Bath. I will not be staying in Europe as of the end of the season, which is unfortunate.
“But I'm looking forward to ending the season on a high, but I really want to leave Munster with great memories I've made already, but some silverware as well. I'm looking forward to it, we want to see a big sea of red, but I'm also excited to see the blue in the stadium as well.
“I haven't experienced a full Thomond Park yet so I'm hoping it'll be close to sold-out. I'm looking forward to seeing the red and blue, I've seen it on TV a few times back home in my younger days, the atmosphere looked incredible.
“I know a lot of us play rugby because we love the sport, but I think for us players, the atmosphere also. It's quite tough, it's quite challenging because it almost feels like a Test match. They have quite a few internationals and experience in the team.
“What they bring to the match, the intensity is higher, the physicality is similar as well, but it's one game as a player you want to challenge yourself against. They are one of the best teams in Europe in the past few years.
“Like I say all the time, you want to test yourself against the best players and the majority of the team are some of the best players in Ireland, that's why they represent Ireland, and did quite well in the Six Nations.
“A lot of the guys are looking forward to the challenge, and we're excited to have the fans back at Thomond Park, and it'll be an incredible atmosphere on Saturday.”
While it is unclear exactly where he might go, a lucrative move to Japan could be on the cards, or a possible return to his homeland where he would have the opportunity to reunite in the URC with his old Munster teammates.