Saturday 24 August 2019

'There's a responsibility to behave' - Alan Quinlan reacts after two alleged incidents during Leinster celebrations

Former Munster and Ireland star Alan Quinlan Photo: Sportsfile
Former Munster and Ireland star Alan Quinlan Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Alan Quinlan says that rugby players have a 'responsibility to behave' when out celebrating after it emerged that the IRFU and Leinster are investigating two alleged incidents that occurred during end-of-season gatherings.

As reported by Brendan Fanning in last weekend's Sunday Independent, the IRFU and Leinster are investigating two alleged incidents in the aftermath of the province's Guinness PRO14 title win, which left an academy player hospitalised and another player the subject of widespread ridicule on social media.

In the first incident, a player from the Leinster Academy was taken to St Vincent's Hospital, where he underwent a brain scan after allegedly being knocked unconscious with a punch from a former Leinster player who is no longer employed by the province.

The player was treated at the scene by a Leinster doctor.

A Leinster spokesman confirmed that the player is recovering well and following the return to train protocols associated with concussion.

No charges were pressed and the alleged perpetrator subsequently attended an official function in the RDS to mark the 10th anniversary of the province's first Heineken Cup title win. The former player lives abroad and is understood to have returned home.

In the second alleged incident, last Sunday, a member of the public was urinated on by a Leinster player in a packed Dublin city centre pub, where the squad were continuing their PRO14 celebrations.

"The IRFU is aware of alleged incidents involving two Leinster based players," a spokesman told the Sunday Independent. "While we are unable to comment specifically on these allegations we can confirm that we are liaising with Leinster Rugby to ascertain the facts around the incidents."

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Speaking on OTB AM, former Ireland and Munster star Quinlan weighed in on the alleged incidents, saying that players need to be careful about how much alcohol they consume.

"They are the kind of things that Leinster wouldn't want to wake up to the next day and hear about and go, 'wow, we have stuff to deal with now' and the IRFU don't want to have to deal with that stuff either," Quinlan said.

"I've seen bad behaviours out of people. Things are different today. I'm not justifying any bad behaviour that I've seen but players need to understand now that you are being scrutinised so much more. And there is no excuse for urinating on somebody's leg.

"Some guys had to be careful about how much they consumed, others could drink all day and the next day and it wouldn't knock a stir out of them."


Quinlan also explained how the nature of team celebrations changed during his career, with 'reckless drinking' becoming more prominent as the years went by.

"They are allowed go on the piss for a few days but they have to behave," he continued.

"We had a Christmas party in Kilkenny before where behaviours weren't great. We sat down as a group and said, 'this is not what we are about'. There was an understanding on that occasion that there was reckless drinking. When there is reckless drinking involved, things can get out of control because people don't know what they are doing.

"At the start of my career, the court sessions that you had at the end of the year, there was beer. Towards the end of my career, you were called up for vodka or whiskey. That kind of drinking is crazy. Some players don't do it for a long time. They haven't had a drink in two months and then you are on a two-dayer and it is crazy."

"There is a resonsibility to behave, and that's ultimately it," Quinlan added.

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