The chances of Will Skelton returning to Super Rugby next season appear dashed with French reports that the giant lock is heading to Europe.
Skelton is one of a number of players set to leave Saracens in the wake of the club's salary cap scandal that will see them relegated from the English Premiership.
Despite being signed with the English heavyweights through to the end of the 2020-2021 season, Skelton had long been linked to a potential departure.
In the fallout from that scandal, it appeared that there was the possibility of Skelton returning back to Australia, with Rugby Australia director of Rugby saying at the time they would investigate the prospect.
However, French media reported on Monday night (AEDT) that Skelton had signed a two-year deal with Top 14 side La Rochelle, effectively ending that prospect.
La Rochelle, currently coached by former Ireland international and Crusaders assistant Ronan O'Gara, sit fifth on the Top 14 table,
That deal would keep Skelton in Europe through to the end of the 2022 season.
Skelton initially joined Saracens on a loan deal in the summer of 2017 before signing with the London club on a longer-term deal and then re-committing last year.
With just 18 Test caps to his name, Skelton would not currently be eligible to play for the Wallabies either under the "Giteau Law."