Speaking for the first time about the now infamous incident, Bath’s Kyle Eastmond has explained that issues at home were to blame for his decision to walk out at half time from Bath’s LV= Cup encounter with Sale in November.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Eastmond admitted that he had let the club and its fans down, and assured everyone that it would not happen again.
“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 claims the coverage of the situation got a bit out of hand. “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 he began to realise the seriousness of the situation, club captain Stuart Hooper was the first man Eastmond called. “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.”
And the young centre is clearly full of remorse, and adamant it won’t happen again. “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.”
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images