The easy thing would be to say it was the money and the lure of a $1million-plus windfall that led to TJ Perenara agreeing to play in Japan next year instead of Super Rugby.
No doubt the money was a factor. Who honestly doesn't have a price and even a footballer with the integrity of Perenara would admit that as much he plays for love and is driven by a ferocious loyalty to the Hurricanes, he's also in it to set up his family.
But to label his decision to sign with NTT Docomo for a season as a consequence of market forces would be dangerous as it would fail to appreciate that there is a wider current of discontent flowing through the playing ranks about the scheduling that awaits in 2021.
Perenara wasn't so much pulled towards Japan as pushed – his concerns about persisting with a five-team competition were ignored and now he's off.
Super Rugby Aotearoa was a massive success in 2020 but as the last few weeks played out, the commentary from the players reflected their overwhelming sense that more of the same in 2021 would be problematic.
The competition provided the intensity everyone wanted, but not the requisite rest periods to do it justice, a point which Perenara made fervently.
"The footy is awesome, the content is really good and the games are always close," he said ahead of the Hurricanes' last match of 2020.
"It's like test match footy every time [but] I'm not sure it's sustainable playing New Zealand teams back to back with only two byes. I'd like to see more teams added or a different schedule. I really enjoy the competition itself, I just don't think the way it's structured at the moment is sustainable.
"Coming out of Covid and into a competition like this which is really good footy for people to watch and awesome for us to play, is exciting to be part of but, going forward, I think there will be some adjustments."
He was wrong, there are no adjustments planned for 2021, except that is for a final to be staged, before, if travel restrictions and diplomatic relations allow, a potential cross-border element to be staged against Australia's teams.
For Perenara, one of the toughest and most durable competitors in the game, to say he didn't think the set-up was sustainable, suggests that this is something with a depth of validity that needed to be carefully considered.
And no one should misconstrue his point either. After years of Super Rugby being blighted by weak teams and a lack of intensity, he wasn't advocating a return to that bad old world.
He was making it clear that relentless intensity is what the players want, but they need a means to adequately recover and prepare to ensure they can play at the required level for the duration.
Hence his argument about the need for more teams because even the addition of one more would radically change the set-up without diluting the quality of fixtures.
If Super Rugby Aotearoa had six teams next year it would allow for better allocation of byes and provide the breathing space the players will need.
Paradoxically it would create more fixtures but that's not the problem to which Perenara and others were alluding – it's not the volume of games that he worried about, but the pattern in which they fell.
But his voice wasn't heard and it shouldn't be seen as a coincidence that he's opting to skip Super Rugby in 2021 and return to it in 2022, when he like everyone else, hopes to see a 10-12 team cross-border competition back in play.
It's not a coincidence either that Beauden Barrett has ignited his sabbatical clause for next year.
He was destined to spend one season in Japan between now and the next World Cup and the fact that he has picked 2021 to do it is yet more evidence that a five-team Super Rugby Aotearoa was deemed a brilliant idea in the radical circumstances induced by Covid's sudden arrival in 2020, but not a sustainable format with which to persevere.
Those two are leaving because they have the contractual ability to do so as a result of their standing, longevity and proven commitment to the game.
Not many other players have that same privilege and hence there will be no exodus to Japan next year.
But that shouldn't be seen as a sign that all is well with the world or reason to conclude that Perenara and Barrett are outliers, driven to Japan by the lure of untold riches.
They are going because they can, and if other players had the same flexibility in their contracts, we would be looking at an exodus.