Quinn Roux looks set to bring the curtain down on his Irish odyssey with a summer move to France now looking likely.
The Irish lock was a noticeable absentee when Connacht announced 21 player contract extensions two months ago and while coach Andy Friend said they were anxious to retain the 30-year old, he now seems set to move, with Toulon the most likely destination.
Connacht haven’t given up hopes of retaining him but a move looks increasingly likely.
Racing 92 were also interested in the Pretoria native but a summer move to the south of France looks on the cards, where he will link up with former Stormers teammate Eben Etzebeth.
Such a move would also likely end his international career, with Roux having been included in Andy Farrell’s original Six Nations squad earlier this year before a neck injury ruled him out and he may not return before the end of this season.
Roux won the last of his 16 caps against Scotland before Christmas, having made his international debut against his native South Africa in the summer of 2016.
Joe Schmidt brought Roux to join Leinster in 2012 and won a Challenge Cup medal with them. Roux saw less game time when Matt O’Connor took charge and he went on loan to Connacht at the start of the 2014/15 season before making the move to the Sportsground permanent.
He missed most of the Pro12 winning campaign with an ankle injury but recovered to be called up by Schmidt for the tour to South Africa and he made his debut in Johannesburg.
He captained Connacht on his 100th appearance against Munster in December 2019 but since then has only played six matches for Friend’s side.
Friend said last month they were keen to retain such an experienced player.
“We are really hopeful he will be with Connacht next season. We are waiting for another few weeks before we can make a decision on that,” he said then.
“Connacht definitely want Quinn Roux to stay because he is a hell of a personality and a hell of a player for us as a province so the intention is that we will have a decision in a few weeks.”
However, unless there is a late change of heart, it would appear that Roux may be about to depart and bring his nine-year Irish adventure to an end.