But the No8 insists that even if he did make the remarks, they would have been meant “facetiously” and that money played no part in his motivation at the tournament.
“I don’t specifically remember saying it but it’s possible I did, especially if a number of players have said so,” said Easter. “It is the kind of facetious thing I say and people who know me know this.” The infamous comments emerged in the Rugby Players’ Association’s review of the dismal World Cup, which was compiled using anonymous feedback from the majority of players but subsequently leaked to a national newspaper.
Senior players came in for heavy criticism, with some, such as captain Lewis Moody, accused of letting commercial interests interfere with the tournament. Easter, who did not play as Quins maintained their Premiership lead at Wasps yesterday, added: “I can’t understand whoever reported this would believe this was part of my motivation.”