Rebels lock Hugh Pyle will leave Super Rugby at the end of the season to continue his career in Europe, following an announcement to his teammates.
Despite consistent strong Super Rugby performances, the Foundation Rebel lock has executed a clause in his contract to pursue his playing career abroad.
Pyle is committed to playing out the 2014 Super Rugby competition with the Rebels, and will remain in Australian Rugby and available for national selection until December 1.
Rebels' CEO Rob Clarke was disappointed with Pyle's decision, however understanding of the player remuneration dynamics of the world rugby market.
"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," said Clarke.
"However as a club, we will never stand in the way of a player once they have made a decision to play elsewhere.
"We are proud of the first-class program we are building here at the Rebels in Melbourne but appreciate that we operate in a global marketplace.
"Whilst this will occasionally see a player move overseas, our focus must remain on developing players who have aspirations to represent their country by wearing a Wallaby jersey.
"Hugh has done a remarkable job promoting this club and rugby in this state, and he will depart at year's end with the club's blessing; Hugh will be forever a Rebel."
Pyle was quick to reassure the Melbourne Rebels faithful that the club has never been in better shape, explaining that the decision was one of timing which allows him to experience the international essence of rugby at a young age.
"The beauty of rugby is that it is celebrated across the globe, and I feel that the timing is right for me to experience international rugby after four years in Super Rugby," said Pyle.
"The Rebels have given me a wonderful opportunity; I'd never imagined that I would play Super Rugby, let alone be at the doorstep of playing 50 Super Rugby matches.
"The decision was an extremely difficult one to make, considering the way in which Tony McGahan has brought this young squad together. There is a great spirit in the playing group, which I know will only grow stronger with the rugby program in place here in Melbourne.
"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."
If selected to face the Highlanders this week, Pyle will join Lachlan Mitchell as just the second player to earn 50 Rebels caps.