The Brumbies have said that Michael Hooper will be given a fair chance to continue to play for the ACT team despite him agreeing to join the Waratahs.
The Brumbies found out that Hooper had joined the Waratahs when they arrived in South Africa late on Monday night.
For Head coach Jake White the loss of Hooper is a major blow as he has established himself as one of the best openside flankers of the tournament so far.
White has revealed that he was so keen on retaining Hooper that he offered him a new contract before he had even made his Brumbies debut.
The coach did however say that while he was disappointed to lose Hooper he won't hold it against him and he will be given a fair chance.
"I enjoy him, he works hard and he's a wonderful guy to have around the club," White said.
"I really wanted him to stay on, but in his defence he hasn't done anything wrong and he hasn't been under-handed.
"It's only fair I treat Hoops with the respect he has shown us as an organisation.
"He's done nothing wrong, I think he deserves to be treated as a Brumby for this year.
"It's not like I'm not interested in him because he's moving on. He's got a job and he has to do as well as he can and if he does that he'll be in contention for selection."
White has however backed Colby Faingaa to improve under forwards coach Laurie Fisher and challenge Hooper for the starting spot at the end of the year.
"I understand (Hooper's) situation and who knows, maybe one day he will come back to the Brumbies in the future," White told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"He's one of our key players, but we also have Colby (Faingaa) there.
"Credit to Hoops, but in all fairness people weren't talking about him last year.
"I think it shows the strength of our program and the way we're developing players and Laurie Fisher has really worked hard with those guys at the breakdown.
"It's not ideal, but I praise Laurie for the progress Hoops has made there and there's no reason we can't get Colby to compete for that jersey."
With the loss of Hooper for next season the Brumbies will look for a specialist No.7.
Force Captain David Pocock comes off contract at the end of the season but he is yet to reveal whether he wants to stay in Perth.