Robin Copeland doesn't see this season's Guinness Pro14 being completed - but if it is, he won’t be around to see it out.

He's leaving Connacht to join the French ProD2 club Soyaux Angouleme on a three-year deal.

The Wexford native is one of many professional players who has had to face up to the reality of his contract lapsing during this Covid-19 enforced break.

He is 33 later this year, and considered retiring, but the opportunity to try something different was too good to turn down, so he and his girlfriend Harriet are making plans to travel to France once restrictions are lifted.

"There were a lot of sleepless nights," he told RTÉ Sport.

"You wake up in the middle of the night wondering if this, that, and the other will work out. Is this okay? Should I be doing this? Will I retire? It was tough, but I didn’t let it get on top of me too much."

Copeland started out in the Leinster academy, before a move to the UK where he played for Plymouth, Rotherham, and Cardiff Blues. He moved home and spent four seasons with Munster, before joining Connacht two years ago.

He admits he’s not sure his teammates in the west will complete the current campaign.

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"Personally I can’t see how they can finish the season in such a short period of time. In France they have the luxury of having an internal league. My instincts are the Pro14 will be cancelled and they’ll try and put everything into next year."

The back-row only spent two seasons in Galway, but he left quite a mark.

His parting gift was to offer his three-bed house in the city to a local hospital as temporary accommodation to healthcare workers during the lockdown.

Three doctors took up the offer and will remain in the lodgings until July. By then, Copeland hopes to be in France as he eyes up his next challenge: learning French.

"Terrible, beyond bad," he says of his command of the language at the moment.

"I thought I had some sort of understanding and grasp of some words, but over the last few days trying to learn stuff off the app... it's going to be a long road to learning!"

Like everything else he has encountered in life, Robin Copland will put the work in, his overriding emotion at the moment being relief that he’s secured his immediate future.