While it'd be an exaggeration to suggest it has dominated the build-up to Munster's Champions Cup semi-final with Saracens, the doubt surrounding Rassie Erasmus' future has at least remained an irritating undercurrent to the southern province's biggest test of the season this Saturday.
The South African coach has been rightly been credited with turning Munster from mice to monsters in one of the most emotionally draining seasons in their rugby history, but since their unforeseeable resurgence, speculation has persisted that Erasmus will return home to aid his ailing Springboks at the end of the season.
For weeks, Erasmus has deflected attention from questions surrounding his future - a master of 'remaining coy', when to definitively dismiss such speculation would surely put the minds of both players and fans at ease at a crucial juncture in the season.
Today, TV3's Sinéad Kissane faced the unenviable task of coaxing more information from the tight-lipped South African and, oddly enough, Erasmus was rather more revealing in his take on his own future.
Erasmus told Kissane:
There's really nothing happening on that front. I'm signed here with Munster, and one day I would really want to go to back to South Africa, and I would never close that door totally on myself.
I would like to go and coach the Springboks, if I'm good enough, one day. So that's why it's not a straight-out 'no'. Because there's always chat, and some of my friends are still there, so I wouldn't stand here and say 'no, I would never go back'. Because one day I would like to go back.
Here's Erasmus on his future. More at 5.30 pic.twitter.com/jiy9Qg5tN0
— Sinéad Kissane (@sineadkissane) April 17, 2017
It would appear, then, that there is - currently, at least - nothing definitive in place which would see Erasmus depart Munster ahead of next season. The door, however, will remain open as long as he remains in Ireland, which was frankly always going to be the case when a coach of his calibre left the Springbok setup.
And so it's pretty much 'as you were' where Erasmus and Munster are concerned, which in itself will come as a relief to many fans who have seen the transformative impact he's had this season.