Ulster coach Mark Anscombe is resigned to the fact that he will lose Stephen Ferris at the end of the season with the flanker poised for a move to Japan.
The injury-plagued 27 year old has most likely played his final game for the province as he is ruled out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury.
His contract with the IRFU expires on June 30 and when asked would Ferris be leaving Ravenhill, Anscombe said today: "Yeah, most probably at this stage he is a great loss.
"I don't know if it is signed or sealed at this stage that's for Stephen and his support team to make those decisions.
"We haven't had a lot of him this season because of injury, but he is a world class player."
A number of foreign clubs are understood to be interested in Ferris' services with an unnamed Japanese club looking the most likely destination.
Ferris has 35 international caps and toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2009.