Easter: Money remark could have been me
December 4, 2011
England's Nick Easter takes on the Argentina defence during the recent Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
England No.8 Nick Easter has admitted that he could have been the player to have made the infamous "There's £35k just gone down the toilet" comment in the immediate aftermath of his side's Rugby World Cup exit.
A leaked review into England's disastrous campaign included feedback to the Rugby Players` Association with one particular remark sparking widespread condemnation and hinting that money and not honour was the squad's motivating factor.
The Mail on Sunday reports that Easter was the player in question and the 33-year-old has told the newspaper that he may have been that man but has fiercely defended his position. "I know I didn't say anything for a good hour at least because nobody did. It was like a funeral in there," Easter said of the scene in the England dressing room following their 19-12 quarter-final defeat at the hands of France.
"I don't specifically remember saying it but it's possible I did - especially if a number of players have said so. It is the kind of facetious thing I say and people who know me know this. I find it very disappointing that a player should make a point of bringing this up in the review, and equally disappointing that it was leaked. I can't understand whoever reported this would believe this was part of my motivation. The remark, assuming I said it, has been taken out of context by the player, and subsequently, by the response to it."
Easter claims to be still troubled by the defeat, which proved to be Martin Johnson`s last in charge of the team, and insists he has never been motivated by money. He added: "Although being paid is a welcome bonus that professionalism brings, it is the last thing on your mind when you are playing rugby, or you've just experienced a defeat, let alone a World Cup quarter-final defeat.
"I may have said it, but I'd gone through a thousand other thoughts first as I sat in the dressing room numb with shock and despair."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September