Killer time for Heaslip
Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip has compared the fall-out from his red card against New Zealand to being on trial for murder.
Heaslip was sent off just 15 minutes into Ireland's record 66-28 defeat in New Plymouth for kneeing All Blacks captain Richie McCaw. The 26-year-old then had to run the New Zealand media gauntlet as he attended a disciplinary hearing, which resulted in a five-week ban.
Heaslip insisted he had been irresponsible rather than malicious, but admitted the whole experience had taught him a valuable lesson, saying: "I know the media are intense in New Zealand when it comes to rugby. 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."
He added: "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."