It's been the worst kept secret in rugby but now it's about to become a reality. Paul O'Connell is joining Toulon and it could all be tied up as early as next week.
The Irish Times are this morning reporting that this weekend's Pro 12 final will be O'Connell's last game in Munster red. After that he is set for a medical in the south of France before signing a two year deal with the European champions.
According to the Times' French sources, O'Connell will not begin his new contract until after the World Cup. The only part of the deal left to be tied up is for Munster and the IRFU to sign off on it. While that is not a certainty, given that O'Connell still has a year left on his centralised contract, it seems unlikely that either party would stand in O'Connell's way.
It must be said that the Munster legend has still not made a decision, at least publicly, about his international future. The two year Toulon deal would suggest that, at 36, O'Connell feels he still has plenty left in the tank. However, it could also be the perfect long retirement in the aftermath of the World Cup.
We'll watch this space.