Danny Cipriani's hopes of a return to the Aviva Premiership with Bath have been dashed after a sensational snub by some of the club's top players.
Bath confirmed last week that they had turned down an option to sign the troubled England No 10 and it has now been revealed that two senior players at the Recreation Ground sabotaged the move.
Instead, Bath are close to agreeing terms with New Zealand fly-half Stephen Donald, the accomplished second choice to All Blacks ace Dan Carter.
Cipriani is keen to return to England with his future at Melbourne Rebels under a cloud and Bath were thought to be interested as they search for a replacement for Butch James.
But it is believed that the two Bath stars made it clear to the club's director of rugby, Ian McGeechan, that the signing of the controversial Cipriani would have an unsettling effect on the dressing room and that seemed to kill the switch stone dead.