The Wallabies' most-capped hooker Jeremy Paul has sent a shockwave through Australian rugby by announcing he is considering quitting the international scene before next year's World Cup in France.
Paul, who has played in two World Cup campaigns, surpassed Phil Kearns as Australia's most experienced rake this year (72 caps) and led the Wallabies throughout this year's international campaign.
But the 29-year-old said his main priority at this stage in his life was his family and not rugby, and for that reason he is considering securing his financial future by playing out his career overseas, even if it means missing the 2007 World Cup.
"I am definitely looking at going overseas, simply for the fact I've got a young family now," Paul said in The Australian.
"My wife is due in two weeks', another little baby on the way.
"These are the sort of things you've got to weigh up now. I'm probably leaning towards advice from my wife rather than myself.
"Playing sport and doing what you want to do is pretty selfish. It's all about you. Now I've got bigger priorities to worry about.
"Going overseas, too, maybe allows me to branch off into coaching, if I decide to do that one day. It's a lifestyle issue too.
"It's pretty hard to leave this country. It comes down to lifestyle and whether you are going to enjoy it.
"The conditions here are the best playing conditions in the world. It's going to be a massive decision, when it comes down to it next year."
Paul, who plays for the Brumbies in Australian rugby, is nearing the 100-game mark for the Super 14 team and said he would like to achieve the feat next year before making a firm decision on his future.
"It's a nice little milestone to make," said Paul. "I'm on 99 at the moment. I'd like to make a couple of milestones next year and weigh it up then."
Paul is not part of Australia's November Tour squad due to a badly injured finger which required surgery to repair tendons, but he is thought to be a certainty to make the World Cup squad next year.