EXETER may be kicking up a stink about visiting Edgeley Park on Good Friday but the Premiership newboys’ snooty putdown of the facilities at Sale’s HQ has only served to make the Sharks more determined to win Friday afternoons game!

By way of fuelling the pre-match flames, Exeter chief executive Tony Rowe – according to the Sale Sharks website – “tossed out an incendiary verbal hand grenade at the weekend” when, in an interview with a Sunday broadsheet about the state of the domestic game, he loftily declared: “I’m going to Sale on Friday and I’m not really looking forward to sitting in a tired old stadium where you’ve got to hold your nose when you go to the toilet.”

One Sale official was moved to reveal the Sharks had already ordered in extra supplies of Harpic and Blue Flush so as not to offend the Chiefs!

But for Sharks executive director of sport Steve Diamond, Rowe’s outburst has only served to strengthen his hand in terms of pre-match preparations for what will be the Sharks’ final Aviva Premiership home game of the season.

“To be honest I’ve never heard of Tony Rowe but his comments have just helped me with my team’s motivation for the game,” was Diamond’s withering assessment of Rowe’s verbal stink bomb.

“He can’t flatter himself and think that Exeter are that powerful that they can come up with those expectations.

“The Exeter coach Rob Baxter has done a brilliant job at Exeter but he has been let down by his Chief Executive who has said the wrong things at the wrong time, having had less than one year’s experience of the Premiership having spent the previous 15 years trying to get here.

“There’s no drama to us and the toilets don’t smell in our changing rooms! Exeter have done very well on the field this year and I don’t think their success should be taken away by a stupid comment from a guy whom, until this week, I had never heard of.”