My overriding feeling on hearing that Sam Burgess, after all the rumours and conjecture of the past three weeks, will definitively be quitting Bath to return to Australia? Sadness. Complete and utter sadness.
Sadness that we will never find out how far Burgess could have gone in union. In my opinion, he could have been a huge star in 2019. Now we will never know.
Sadness that it will lead to further bickering between the two codes. My Twitter timeline at the moment is full of poisonous comments from both tribes and, frankly, it does my head in.
Sadness for Luther Burrell, who was left out of England's World Cup squad when Burgess was included. A penny for his thoughts.
Sadness at how this whole sorry affair has unfolded. What a waste.
It had been coming though. I heard three weeks ago that Leeds Rhinos had offered Kallum Watkins in part-exchange. Then the rumours grew - now confirmed - that Burgess would seek to return to Sydney and the Rabbitohs.
Well, I am sure Russell Crowe will be delighted, as will the rugby league fraternity. I hate to say it, but they will see this as a 'victory'.
Let me get one thing straight, I am a cross-code man. I have absolutely no beef with league. On the contrary, I love the game. I love the players, the atmosphere, the intensity, the skills.
I always felt Sir Clive Woodward should have brought Sean Long over when he was in his pomp.
And I watched the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford live last month rather than the England versus Uruguay 'nothing game' across the city.
What I hate is the tit-for-tat nonsense. Even at 35, I fervently hope Kevin Sinfield can do the business at Yorkshire Carnegie - if only so that he can help unite their fans with the Rhinos fans. So I am speaking not as an ex-centre or an ex-England player, just purely as a sports fan. And I am gutted. For me, Burgess's integration into union could - should - have been a big success for both codes.
Instead, union fans will accuse him of quitting, of slinking off back to Sydney when he should have fronted up. Worst of all, they will accuse him of rank opportunism.
I categorically do not think that he came over for the money. That is not in his character. I met Sam a number of times and have always been blown away by his mentality.
League fans, meanwhile, will say Burgess was let down and utterly wasted in the 12 months he spent in the union code. It is hard to argue with that assessment.
The club v country situation, and the problem of where best to play him, was a major issue.
I am not blaming Bath. All I know is that if Steve Hansen wants to see Beauden Barrett in the back three because that is where he thinks he has most chance of representing the All Blacks, then it happens. In New Zealand, they prioritise their national team.
We do not have that system over here and we never knew, and now never will know, where Burgess was best suited to playing.
He started at 12 for Bath, could not settle there, then played his best club rugby at six, though really he played like a 12.
Personally, I do not think he had a future at six, where the line-out was always going to prove an issue. That is no slight on Burgess, it would have been an issue for Sonny Bill Williams, who has mastered about 37 sports.
Nevertheless, he showed some promising signs at Bath and I could see why England picked him for the initial World Cup training squad. Have a look at him, let him have a look at the set-up. I did not think he should have made the final cut and said so at the time. But having gone with him, I backed him 100 per cent.
And he was not a disaster. He came on and did well against Fiji. He was not at fault for the defeat by Wales. He was guilty of over-chasing Jamie Roberts in the first half, which gave Wales some momentum just before half-time.
But earlier on, he had stitched up Dan Lydiate and Dan Biggar with the angles of his running in the build-up to Jonny May's try. And let's not forget the score was 25-18 when he came off in that match. Yet already it appeared the writing was on the wall. He was dropped from the squad against Uruguay and it has been non-stop rumours ever since.
The gossip-mongers suggest he was offered a place in Bath's matchday squad two weeks ago and turned it down. Again, purely hearsay, but I heard that Kyle Eastmond was prepared to walk if Burgess was selected at 12.
So where was he going to play? Jonathan Joseph commands his place at 13. And that is before you even come to the claims of Ollie Devoto, a seriously talented young man who could potentially have made England's World Cup squad. Three into two does not go.
Amid all the confusion and speculation, his yellow card for Bath when he came on at six in their opening fixture against Exeter Chiefs at The Rec last month - being made to sit on the naughty step - may just have been the straw that broke the camel's back. It is just so sad that such a hash could have been made of such an exciting prospect.
It is a damning indictment of union. Genuinely. Embarrassment may be too strong a word but this has not been a good day for the game. One of league's top players, with a skillset perfectly aligned to modern day union, has decided to leave before he has even had a chance to find out where his best position is. Any chance of bringing other big league stars over has gone up the swanny.
Clearly, it does not reflect well on Stuart Lancaster, the England head coach. However much pressure he was under to select Burgess - and I am not buying for a second any suggestion that he was forced to do so - ultimately the decision to pick him, and his subsequent handling, comes down to him while with England.
But again, his hands were tied with his inability to influence Bath's decision-making. And it must be stressed that it was Burgess who approached union. It wasn't Lancaster doing the chasing.
His treatment, though, sadly, was consistent with other issues at this World Cup, most notably the non-selection of Steffon Armitage and Nick Abendanon for the enlarged training camp, where again more questions could have been answered.
It felt muddled. We were supposed to finish this World Cup with answers rather than questions. Most of all, though, it just feels sad.