Heaslip laments red reaction
August 2, 2010
Jamie Heaslip saw red against New Zealand in June © Getty Images
Ireland No.8 Jamie Heaslip has compared the media scrutiny surrounding his red card against New Zealand in June to being on trial for murder.
The British & Irish Lion saw red 14 minutes into Ireland's 66-28 defeat in New Plymouth after kneeing All Black skipper Richie McCaw at a ruck, paving the way for the home side to run riot and rack up a record score.
Heaslip, 26, was subsequently banned for five weeks, ruling him out of defeats to the New Zealand Maori and Australia, but believes that he has emerged from the episode a better person.
"I know the media are intense in New Zealand when it comes to rugby, but bloody hell," he told Rugby World. "When I got to the hotel for the hearing there were loads of TV cameras and photographers - it was like a murder trial or something.
"I'd never go into any game with the objective to hurt someone. It's not Tiddlywinks out there; I play the game hard and respect players who play hard, Richie being one of them, but I'd never want to hurt another player.
"Frustration got the better of me, maybe I didn't ruck responsibly, and I suffered the consequences. It's not something I'm proud of and being the only Ireland player to be sent off in professional rugby is not a great record, but I'm a big boy and I've learnt a lot. It's a life lesson."