Scotland Rugby have continued to insist incoming Ulster coach Dan McFarland will work his notice period with their national side before arriving at Kingspan Stadium.
Having signed a three-year deal, the former Glasgow and Connacht forwards specialist was confirmed last week as the man to replace Jono Gibbes heading up the province's coaching ticket, but his notice period with the SRU runs until the middle of January when ideally he would be in Belfast to begin pre-season this summer.
Ulster, however, still expect their man to be in place long before the date mooted in Scotland.
"It's disappointing," said Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend yesterday of McFarland's decision to leave his assistant coach's post less than 500 days out from the 2019 World Cup.
"It always is when someone you work closely with moves away, but it's obviously an opportunity for Dan to become a head coach and we'll have to adapt and move on.
"He's still working with us for the next nine months and he'll be on tour (to North America this summer).
"Carl Hogg's joined us for our coaching meetings and him and Dan will share responsibilities on this tour. We see that working well, but we need to look ahead and see who will replace Dan when he does go to Ulster.
"The plan is nine months, which is January 21, before the Six Nations, and we have to have someone in before then."