Alan Quinlan is action in the Heineken Cup semi-final against Leinster
Munster flanker Alan Quinlan has spoken of his massive regret over the gouging incident which led to him missing this summer's Lions Tour.
He was found guilty of making contact with the eye area of Leinster's Leo Cullen in the teams' Heineken Cup semi-final and was handed a 12-week ban.
"It was reckless, it was contact in the eye area and that was my own fault," Quinlan told Irish broadcaster RTE.
"It's not something I intentionally tried to do."
The Munster flanker acknowledged that the incident "certainly looked bad".
"It's something that has had a bad effect on me, my family and friends, and people that are close to me.
"And people who are close to me know that's not something that I'd do and I suppose I'd just like to let people hear me say it and be honest about it.
"I'm not trying to portray it or paint it up in a different way.
My intention was to just try to pull Leo off whatever way I could and unfortunately what happened, happened
"It looked bad and it was bad, but from my point of view there wasn't any intention from me to go near Leo's eyes or any player's eyes.
"It's something that I fully regret and have to take ownership for.
"But my intention was to just try to pull Leo off whatever way I could and unfortunately what happened, happened.
"It happened in 0.4 of a second in real time, certainly if you watch it in slow motion it looks a lot longer.
"I'm not trying to downplay the incident but I take full ownership of it."
Quinlan thanked Cullen for his help during the failed appeal against the 12-week ban.
"Fortunately there was no injury and speaking to Leo after the game he didn't have much recollection of anything that happened and was top class about it and certainly helped me in the hearing.
"I have to compliment him on that and thank him on that, because from my point of view it was a massive regret, and it's my own fault."