Sonny Bill Williams' All Blacks career looks to be over after he confirmed his intention to return to Australia's National Rugby League after a short stint in Japan.
Williams' future with the All Blacks has been one of the major talking points in recent months but his departure has only just been confirmed with the 26-year-old set to leave New Zealand at the end of the Super Rugby competition.
He has signed a short-term contract with Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan's Top League, ruling him out of the inaugural Rugby Championship which replaces the Tri-Nations due to Argentina's inclusion in the southern hemisphere competition.
However, rather than return to Australia, Williams has revealed he will return to Australia with the player believed to have reached an agreement with the Sydney Roosters.
"It goes back to pretty much not breaking something that I've told someone that I'd do," he said. "I've chosen my path and now I've got to walk it.
"I knew that I was going overseas next year and they (gave) me an offer and at first I turned it down. But they came back with an offer that I just pretty much couldn't refuse."
He added: "One day I would love to come back (to New Zealand) but in saying that I'm not going to hold my breath.... To be honest, I feel I've found my place here with the Chiefs, with the boys, but it just goes back to I've given someone my word.
"This was a while ago and I've had to go on with that even though it's tough."
Williams came in for much criticism during his time with the All Blacks partly down to his refusal to sign with the New Zealand Rugby Union for more than a year at a time, while many fans were unhappy with his decision to pursue a professional boxing career.
Despite questions over his commitment to the All Blacks, coach Steve Hansen admits the inside centre will be a big loss.
"It is a shame and disappointing that New Zealand rugby is losing him," Hansen said in a statement.
"In talking to him, I know the decision has been a tough one but we fully respect why he has made this decision.
"He is an outstanding athlete who has stamped his mark on the game and hopefully this is not the last time we see him in New Zealand rugby."