Australia head coach Michael Cheika admitted that he tried everything to persuade Rob Horne to stay in the country before he signed for Northampton Saints.
Horne, 27, announced earlier this week that was leaving Australia to move to the Premiership to join Northampton next season.
The Waratahs versatile back has been a Wallabies vice-captain in the past and Cheika reiterated his respect for Horne when addressing his move to England.
"Obviously I tried every tactic I could in the book – underhand and overhand – for him to stay," Cheika told AAP.
"He's been a player who has not let us down, ever, in relation to both representing his state and Australia.
"I won't lie, he's at the peak of his career, I'm surprised that he chose to go in the end.
"But that's what we're dealing with – teams with a lot of cash, a lot of money and we know what our realities are. We did our best, it was a really fair negotiation. I'm sure he will give 110 percent this year both for NSW and Australia.
"And then that will lead into some good memories before he heads away."
Horne will be unable to play for the Wallabies after he moves abroad due to falling short of 'Giteau's Law', which was introduced before the 2015 Rugby World Cup and allows players with more than 60 caps or who have played more than seven seasons at Super Rugby level to be selected.