Towering lock Hugh Pyle will leave the Melbourne Rebels at the end of the Super Rugby season to play in Europe.
The 25-year-old has executed a clause in his contract that allows him to pursue his career abroad.
Rebels' chief executive Rob Clarke was disappointed with Pyle's decision but said he understood the temptation of the huge money available from European clubs.
"I am sure all of Victorian Rugby Union would be disappointed that we lose a foundation member of our club to play overseas when he has plenty of years ahead of him," Clarke said.
"However, we will never stand in the way of a player once they have made a decision to play elsewhere."
Set to play in France, Pyle said he was thankful for the opportunity the Rebels had given him.
He will play his 50th match for the Rebels - becoming the second player to do so behind Lachlan Mitchell - against the Highlanders on Friday night.
"I never imagined that I would play Super Rugby, let alone be at the doorstep of playing 50 Super Rugby matches.
"I will be forever in debt to the Rebels for backing me and giving me the opportunity, which now sees me doing something I love doing for a living."
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