Jamie Heaslip was sent off during Ireland's heavy defeat to New Zealand
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip admits he was stunned at the media furore following his red card in his team's record 66-28 defeat to New Zealand in June.
The No.8 was given his marching orders in New Plymouth for kneeing All Black captain Richie McCaw in a ruck, and was banned for five weeks after admitting the offence at a disciplinary hearing.
The 26-year-old subsequently missed defeats to New Zealand Maori and Australia, but feels he has learnt a valuable lesson following the fierce press backlash.
"When I got to the hotel for the hearing there were loads of TV cameras and photographers - it was like a murder trial or something," he said.
"I know the media are intense in New Zealand when it comes to rugby, but bloody hell.
"Frustration got the better of me, maybe I didn't ruck responsibly, and I suffered the consequences.
"It's not something I'm proud of, and being the only Ireland player to be sent off in professional rugby is not a great record, but I'm a big boy and I've learnt a lot. It's a life lesson.
"I'd never go into any game with the objective to hurt someone. It's not Tiddlywinks out there; I play the game hard and respect players who play hard, Richie being one of them, but I'd never want to hurt another player."