Simon Zebo says while Joe Schmidt explained the reasons why he was left out of the Ireland squad and is "disappointed" with the decision, he has no regrets about leaving Munster.
Earlier this week the 27-year-old confirmed he would depart the province at the end of the season for France, though his destination has not been revealed, with Racing 92 one of four clubs vying for his signature according to Ronan O’Gara.
Zebo, on the scoresheet and part of the Munster side that lost 20-15 to Connacht in the Pro14 on Friday night in Galway, has been left out of the Ireland squad for the upcoming November internationals and his Test career now looks to be over, for the near future at least.
The IRFU and Schmidt have repeatedly stated that players are far less likely to be selected if they leave the provinces, where the union can manage their workload and availability for national camps.
Speaking to exclusively to RTÉ Sport, the versatile back admitted that it was one of the most difficult decisions he has ever had to make and confirmed that Schmidt had discussed the decision to cull him from the squad.
"I spoke to Joe and he explained his reasons around it," he said. "You know that could potentially happen, but it's never easy when you're not involved.
"If I wasn't able to compete or didn't think I was good enough it'd just go over my head, but it's a level I should be at and I've proven I should be at it and that's why it's disappointing.
"I wouldn't say regret, because I decided to be in that position.
"Playing for Munster is a dream of mine since I was a child, playing for Ireland was a dream and playing for the Lions and so has playing in France.
"I've French family, I'm half-French and I like the way the rugby is played there. So it was an obvious fit for me to go and experience.
"It's a very short career, so I wasn't going to let it go by without doing it.
He further went on to explain that in a short career, he felt moving to France was important for him and his family and is looking forward to the next chapter in his career.
"At least I've the balls to do it and I won't shirk away from a challenge. I won't look back on my career with any regret."
Pau are long-time admirers, and while Racing 92 are favourites to land the 35-cap international, the player says he cannot reveal where he expects to pitch up next season.
"That's a big decision. I know where I'll probably end up, but until something is in place or announced I can't really comment on it," he said.
"It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in my life, I want to attack and experience it."