Northampton Saints have announced that Louis Picamoles will be leaving the club to rejoin Montpellier, his first professional club, as the French Federation now wants its internationals to be playing in the Top 14.
"The 31-year-old has received a proposal from Montpellier which will underpin the future financial stability for his family," read a club statement.
"The club has therefore reluctantly agreed to the transfer and accepted a significant transfer fee for his services. This fee will be reinvested into the playing squad to ensure Northampton Saints continues to strive for success on the pitch.
"To achieve this, the Saints is looking to further strengthen the squad with new signings in addition to the world class talent already confirmed for 2017/18.
"The Saints’ management would like to thank Louis for his contribution to this season and wish him all the best for the future."
“I am proud to have played for Northampton Saints and I have enjoyed my time with the club,” Picamoles said.
“I am grateful for all the support and friendship I have received from the club, the coaches, my team mates and supporters.”
Picamoles enjoyed an outstanding season in his first season in the Premiership with Saints, after arriving from Toulouse in 2016.