Versatil Samoan back James So'oialo has been released from his contract on compassionate grounds by Connacht Rugby and the IRFU.
James So'oialo will return to his family and three children in New Zealand. The 24-year-old arrived in Connacht in late September following permit delays and played in both of Connacht's Heineken Cup pool games against Saracens and Zebre.
Connacht head coach Pat Lam said: "James came to us with an urgent request to return home to New Zealand where his young family is based.
"His situation was one we could sympathise with and we were able to organise a release, effective immediately. We wish James all the best in the future."
So'oialo added: "I've enjoyed my short time at Connacht and was made feel so welcome by the boys. But I need to be with my family now. I wish Connacht all the best and I'll be keeping a keen eye on their progress from New Zealand."
Reigning champions Munster made a winning start to the IRFU Women's Interprovincial Championship when they overcame Connacht at the Sportsground last Saturday. Check out the highlights from Irish Rugby TV.
The Leinster squad has been bolstered by the return of a number of Ireland internationals ahead of their Heineken Cup round 3 showdown with Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday (kick-off 6pm).
Defending champions Munster and chief rivals Leinster picked up first round wins in the IRFU Women's Interprovincial Championship on Saturday, with a number of Grand Slam winners and provincial newcomers on the scoresheet.
Ulster kept up their quest for a top four RaboDirect PRO12 position as Darren Cave's first half try and solid kicking from Paddy Jackson helped them get the better of second-from-bottom Zebre in Parma.