BRIAN MOORE, writing for The Telegraph, says Saracens deserve credit not criticism for becoming a force in European rugby.
The former England hooker praised their professional approach, taking aim at those who have claimed the club has lost its soul by recruiting South Africans in order to find success.
'To those saying the club lost its soul – how else could the club to close the gap?' he said. 'Moreover, the input of [Nigel] Wray and then the South African billionaire Johann Rupert is no different from the way Bath, Worcester and others have been funded. It is a long way from the Bramley Road days but it needed to be.
'Like it or not, believe it or not, today’s success is a product of the club building a proper club spirit. When you spend time at Saracens you can see that those involved, on and off the field, genuinely believe in the club; there is nothing fake about their affection.
'Whether the north London club can take the trophy from Toulon is questionable but if you agree with the criticisms of Saracens, what can you say of Toulon and the way in which their success has been created? The fact is that both have managed to forge a team and club spirit; without it neither would be successful for any amount of investment. Money makes success more likely, it doesn’t guarantee it.'