He added: “I miss having those conversations about the game, which maybe is the reason I’m here, but I don’t miss the life of a professional athlete. It’s not as easy as people make out, because you’re never really you.

“Listen, I’m not going to sit here and throw stones at the sport I love. That’s not me. Rugby is a brilliant game.

“It has been great to me and I love it, but you reach a certain stage in life when you’re no longer prepared to compromise on your principles.

“Rugby’s a game but it’s also a business and an institution. I didn’t want to ‘play the game’ any more and not stand up for what I believe in.

“You’re basically owned as a rugby player — an asset — and that’s not how I wanted to live my life. Turning a blind eye on things. Good luck to the guys who can do that but you have the choice.

Eastmond also revealed that a desire to avoid any further injuries proved key in his decision.

“Why do you have to wait until the wheels fall off before you retire? Why do you have to wait until you can’t walk?

“I don’t want my son watching me be owned by an institution. That’s not the idol I want him to have. Everybody has moved on, though. Everybody has moved on and is doing better. Do you get me?”