Ah You on his way to Ulster
Connacht will lose Rodney Ah You to Ulster at the end of the season, writes Des Berry.
The 27-year-old tight-head prop will contest the cornerstone position with the incumbent Wiehahn Herbst.
The South African has had to shoulder most of the workload his season and will become Irish-qualified in the summer of 2017.
This looks like a sensible piece of business by Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss, perhaps persuaded by the IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora's wishes on serving the best interests of Ireland.
For sure, Ulster were over-powered by Saracens in The Champions Cup on Saturday with what was a sub-standard pack of forwards.
The second choice at three is 29-year-old Ricky Lutton, who did not cover himself in glory at Allianz Park, and the unheralded Bronson Ross, 30, is next best on the squad list.
The internationally unconvincing Ah You should lighten the workload placed on Herbst.
"This will always be a special place for me," said Ah You.
"I will have fond memories of the Connacht fans, in particular, who were so welcoming to me when I first arrived and continued to support me over the years.
"There is a huge few weeks and months ahead with Connacht, and I want to play my part in helping the team finishing the season on a high."
Connacht coach Pat Lam did his best to ease the passage from West-to-North.
"We'd like to wish Rodney and his family all the best in Belfast and with Ulster," he issued.
"While disappointed not to have him playing as part of the Connacht squad next year, we respect the player's individual decision.
"I know Rodders wants to do everything he can for the remainder of the season to help the team and his team mates achieve our goals."