Eastmond sorry for half-time walk-out
January 6, 2014
Kyle Eastmond: back in a better place at Bath © Getty Images
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Eastmond spoke for the first time about why he left the ground after being substituted at half-time during the LV Cup victory at Sale.
"There were a few things going on at home behind the scenes," he said. "I'm not going into the details because they are very personal issues that have now been resolved. But what I will say is that I let them get to me when I shouldn't have done.
"Things have got to be right at home, haven't they, if you're going to do your job well. A couple of things were going on and my head wasn't right playing that night at Sale."
He said that the media coverage exaggerated the situation. "What people must understand is that I didn't storm out or make a scene. I listened to the half-time team talk, then showered and got dressed while the lads went back out to play. It was spur of the moment. I didn't think of it until I was dressed. I was a few minutes from home, so someone drove me back there.
"It was absolutely the wrong thing to do but I didn't really realise this until two days later on the Sunday when it suddenly hit me hard. At that point I hadn't had any contact with anyone, but I didn't need telling. It was a big, genuine mistake."
As the implications of what he had done sunk in, Eastmond called Bath captain Stuart Hooper. "Before I could say sorry to him, Hoops came in first with an assurance that the whole team were behind me. They could see I wasn't being my usual self, and when I heard him say that, I was filled with happiness and relief.
"I called Stuart Lancaster next and explained myself. I realised I had to get this sorted as quickly as possible. I told him the person who walked out at Sale wasn't the real me. I have to say that Stuart, like Bath, was fantastic in his support."
Asked what he had learned, he said: "Well, first, that it will never happen again. I can give you that guarantee right now. And, second, if I have any problems in the future I will talk about them with my team-mates. Everything's OK at home now, but the incident has made me appreciate what I have here, too. I'd also like to take this chance to say sorry to the fans and hope they understand. I let them down that night."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter