Saracens director of rugby Eddie Jones has claimed that the last week has been the worst in his long rugby career.
The former Australia coach, who helped guide South Africa to World Cup glory as their backs coach in 2007, has had to try and help his players come to terms with rumours that Sarries could see a huge South African influx from as early as next season.
An impressive 24-23 win over high-flying Sale Sharks on Sunday could not take away from the disappointment of a week that has seen widespread upheaval at the Vicarage Road outfit.
With up to 15 players having being released ahead of the start of the 2009/10 campaign, Jones admits that the last few days have been "the worst week I’ve ever had in rugby".
"I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Jones, who only took over from Alan Gafney last summer and will himself be departing Watford just a year into his contract.
"Some of the guys have been in tears all week, and yesterday there was a meeting with lawyers.”
Jones claims he arrived in London hoping to build the foundations for a successful future for Sarries but he admits that he is growing increasingly worried that the club is now heading in the wrong direction.
"I’m 100-per-cent disappointed. I brought my family here and I wanted to build a strong club, the best in Europe,” added Jones.
"There’s never a right time for this. The impact of culling so many of your best players has a massive effect on the club.
"But I’ve told the players I am fighting their corner, and my job is to leave the club in the best shape I can. I guarantee I will."