Saracens hooker Jamie George overreacted to an alleged insult made by Munster medic Dr. Jamie Kearns, according to Alan Quinlan.
A brawl broke out on the pitch after a derogatory comment was allegedly made about George’s weight during the Heineken Champions Cup clash and the English club are considering making an official complaint.
Speaking on Monday’s OTB AM, Quinlan was surprised to see the matter being taken so seriously by Saracens.
“You hear stuff all the time as a player on the field, particularly if you’re in a big game where there’s a rivalry. If there’s a bit of a spark in the game you’ll get comments like ‘F*** you’ and all that kind of stuff.
“Sometimes you laugh at it and you bank it and when he carries the ball next you try to kill him. Or vice versa. It’s just you’ve got to be careful. There’s always a bit of sledging out on the field and guys just shake hands afterwards.
“I wouldn’t say it’s part and parcel but it happens. It’s no big deal. Loads of people have said loads of things to me and vice versa on the field,” Quinlan said.
While insulting comments are common during rugby matches, the former Munster player did admit that an insult coming from a member of staff on the sideline is worse than coming from an opposition player.
“I can understand a little bit where he’s coming from. Imagine there’s a boxing ring and someone on the outside is now interfering with verbals. In a sense, it probably would infuriate you.
“If a doctor or someone said something to me on the sideline I would [be annoyed]. But I just thought his reaction was - I was a psycho at times - but that was a massive overreaction.
“He kind of gestured back and said a few things himself and was walking away and then decided to turn back again. It obviously was still grating him a bit... I don’t know, it’s a big reaction for something like that,” Quinlan commented.
The governing body for the Heineken Champions Cup will likely conduct an investigation into the incident, whether or not Saracens make an official complaint.
However, while the former Ireland international wasn’t strictly against the idea of an investigation, he did question whether it is necessary.
“I think EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) are going to investigate. They’re not going to just not say anything about it here.
“Maybe they’re right just to have a look at it and talk to Munster and talk to the doctor. There may be a fine. I don’t know. I just think it’s a storm in a teacup really,” Quinlan said.