Munster's Keith Earls apologises to Fraser Brown for 'misunderstanding'
Keith Earls has "unreservedly apologised" for claiming Fraser Brown milked the dangerous tackle that saw the Munster wing sent off against Glasgow in October.
Ireland flyer Earls was red-carded and subsequently banned for two weeks for his tip tackle on Scotland hooker Brown, in Munster's emotionally charged 38-17 win over Glasgow on October 22.
Just a day after the funeral of head coach Anthony Foley, Munster produced a classic, heartfelt performance, marred only by Earls' red card and his venting of frustrations in booting away water bottles on the touchline.
Earls recently insisted Brown "could have done more to protect himself", leading to objections from the Glasgow star - and now the Munster stalwart has released a statement offering a frank apology.
"I wish to address my part in the Champions Cup Munster versus Glasgow Warriors game and a subsequent interview I held, as the incident in question has rumbled on for a number of weeks and in addressing this I hope to put to bed a matter that has escalated because of my own doing," read Earls' statement, issued through Munster.
"In a poorly worded interview on my part I failed to acknowledge that I apologised to Fraser Brown for my actions during the Munster versus Glasgow Warriors game.
"I also failed to confirm that I acknowledged I had committed an act of foul play, and fully accepted the corresponding sanction, apologising to Glasgow Warriors and EPCR (European Rugby Challenge Cup) for my conduct.
"I have since written to EPCR once again confirming my acceptance of the disciplinary decision and outcome. I have also addressed the misunderstanding directly with Fraser and unreservedly apologised again for my actions and the wording I used during the interview.
"I hope this paints a clearer picture for all and I believe it is important October 22 in Thomond Park is remembered for the right reasons and not for something I deeply regret."
Former Munster and Ireland captain Foley was found dead from a heart-related condition on the morning of the Thomond Park province's European clash against Racing 92 in Paris on October 16.
Munster spent the week paying fine tribute to one of their most beloved sons, before putting Glasgow to the sword in a stunning but bittersweet victory.
Earls was racked with guilt for his sending-off, but in reacting publicly since had raised the hackles of Glasgow's Scotland front-rower Brown.
"As professional players we've got a duty of care for each other," Brown had said, reacting to the criticism from Earls.
"If you do something wrong, it's being big enough to put your hand up and say you got something wrong. So for me, it's disappointing he could come out and put the blame somewhere else."