Easter during a World Cup training session. David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Did Nick Easter make the infamous '£35k' comment?

The No8 admits that it’s possible, but that the context in which he made the remark has been distorted by media coverage of the World Cup leaks.

WHEN DETAILS OF the RFU’s confidential inquiry into the failure of England’s World Cup campaign were leaked to the press a fortnight ago, one of the most striking anecdotes concerned an unnamed player who was reported to have voiced his frustration at England’s quarter-final defeat to France by saying:

“There’s £35,000 down the toilet.”

It turns out that the player in question, whose attitude has since become emblematic of England’s institutional malaise, may have been Nick Easter.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the Harlequins veteran claimed that he didn’t remember making the remark, but if he did, it was almost certainly intended as an ironic reflection on the solemnity of the occasion.

“I don’t specifically remember saying it but it’s possible I did – especially if a number of players have said so. It is the kind of facetious thing I say and people who know me know this.”

In addition to providing a plausible context in which the comment could have been made, Easter expressed his frustration with both the players responsible for erroneously reporting the incident as an example of squad misbehaviour and the subsequent leak that brought it to public attention.

“I find it very disappointing that a player should make a point of bringing this up in the review, and equally disappointing that it was leaked. I can’t understand whoever reported this would believe this was part of my motivation.”

Easter has been a mainstay of the English international squad since his Test debut in the 2007 Six Nations.

Read more on this story from the Mail on Sunday>

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