Former England and outside-half Stuart Barnes has criticised Bath’s signing of “one dimensional” Jamie Roberts, insisting it demonstrates where his former club is going wrong.
Writing about the Chiefs’ talismanic director of rugby Rob Baxter in The Times , Barnes said: “Players join Exeter to better themselves, enjoy themselves and become the best. It may be coincidental that Exeter are — according to the statistics — the only profitable team in the country.
“Players are not paid small fortunes to join the club. They play the game for the sake of it. Tight-knit, technically adroit, hungry and on the move. The spirit of ancient Bath is alive and well in Exeter.
“Baxter is the (Jack) Rowell of his age, understanding the ethos of the club game all but forgotten in Bath.
“He would not have signed Jamie Roberts.
“The veteran Welsh centre is an outstanding, if one-dimensional player. Say what you will, however, he is a big-game player.
“But Bath are signing him to play week-in, week-out for his new club; to give his all in a way he did not as a Cardiff Blues player and has not as a Harlequin.
“An ageing international player has joined, a committed one-club man in Matt Banahan has been released. Bath are now just another club, modern-day money overwhelming the old magic.”