Eastmond must heed the words of leading convert Robinson
Whatever the outcome of St Helens’ ongoing investigation into the alleged antics of their distressed star, it seems highly unlikely he will play for the club again.
But what is at the root of his problems and why is he behaving in such a manner?
Eastmond has already had to apologise to the club’s fans once this season, having blatantly ignored them following the loss against Warrington.
While jaded team-mates fulfilled the customary practice of applauding their supporters, he stormed off back to the dressing rooms in a fit of petulance which did not say much about his character.
Such childish behaviour is usually more prevalent with over-paid footballers and is not the sort of poor form associated with rugby league. If that is a sign of things to come, and the example he is setting, his loss to rugby union will not be so significant after all. Good riddance, in fact.
Maybe it was just an aberration amid all the pressure he was under mulling over that lucrative offer from Bath.
However, Eastmond has now apparently been at it again.
Just a fortnight after his initial strop, the disgruntled 21-year-old is being put under scrutiny by his own club for alleged serious misconduct.
No details have been divulged but it is believed to be surrounding an alleged obscene gesture to his own fans after the home defeat to Harlequins last weekend.
He is supposed to switch to union at the end of this Super League season when his current Saints contract expires but, following this latest incident, his position looks untenable.
Bath may look to take him off Saints’ hands earlier than expected and that would certainly aid his chances of making a decent stab at the other code in time for the start of their next campaign.
It may be that Eastmond wants to make the move now, especially given his current poor displays, and that could explain his recent outbursts as a contrived way of forcing Saints’ hand.
Those who know him say he is a level-headed character, with a good attitude and someone who has always remained grounded despite the spotlight coming down on him so quickly following his sudden emergence with Saints and England in 2009.
So, his current behaviour is certainly at odds with the norm.
The other view is that Eastmond has grown so frustrated with his ongoing lack of form – tomorrow’s opponents Leeds Rhinos might actually be disappointed he is not playing so abject has been some of his play – that it is just his own reaction over-boiling.
Saints fans have grown restless and barracked him in recent weeks following some listless displays, understandably believing he was disinterested given his imminent move.
However, Eastmond has endured operations on both ankles over the winter, the injuries which blighted his last season and needed urgent repair, and he was always likely to need time to rediscover his electric pace and all-round match fitness.
It has to be hoped that is the main reason behind both his recent form and actions; if they are glimpses of his real character, then Eastmond will not last two minutes let alone the entirety of his sizeable three-year deal in union and he will be the latest in a growing line of players who limp back to the sport unfulfilled.
He will come under an intense glare in union and the mild abuse he may have received from some Saints fans will seem like friendly banter compared to the pressure he could face in Bath colours.
Jason Robinson, the most successful convert and someone who Eastmond is often compared to, came out this week to warn him of the perils that lie ahead while gracefully acknowledging the young man’s obvious talent.
Eastmond would be wise to listen to the legend and learn some lessons from him both on and off the field.