It may be just as well that Racing-bound Simon Zebo has chosen to depart Munster and the Irish set up as a result.
According to an interview Zebo granted to the French sporting newspaper L'Equipe, the soon to be former Munster man feels he is incapable of expressing himself as a player in the the international set up.
It is a belief that he also had the temerity to share with Joe Schmidt himself. Discussing the relative freedom he is allowed when playing for his province, Zebo was in no doubts about the set up her preferred:
With Munster, I'm free to try things, to play the moves that I see. I don't have any shackles.
Compared to the more regimented approach that Schmidt's Ireland undertakes, Zebo was keen to reiterate that any criticism was not labelled at Schmidt himself:
Joe is a super coach who has had great success with Ireland. [However,] we talked about it face-to-face. I said to him that I couldn't play in such a rigid structure.
Winning is important but for me it's also important to do it in a certain way. But if you ask me to pick between losing in style or winning ugly, I'd choose the second option.
It is evident that Zebo, despite being aware of what his move to Paris would do for his Irish career, has not given up hope of donning the green jersey once more.
Claiming that he was "unfortunate" to be overlooked for the November tests, he is holding out hope that a surprise return to the Irish set up could be on the cards for the upcoming Six Nations:
I would not understand if there's one rule for the others and another for me. I'm fully eligible because I'm a Munster player until June.
I hope I'll be called up for the Six Nations.
A brazen claim to make perhaps given his comments regarding Ireland's playing style, it would appear that Zebo's decision to leave at the end of this season has brought about the end of his international career; irrespective of his eligibility now.
While Leinster's Johnny Sexton continued to represent Ireland while playing for the club Zebo is set to join, it is unlikely that such a dispensation will be made in this particular instance.