England’s rugby stars told to ‘think it but don’t say it’ during social media seminar ahead of the World Cup
- England’s rugby stars have been given a seminar on the use of social media
- RFU director Nigel Melville and sports lawyer Matt Himsworth briefed the team
- Backlash to a Raheem Sterling post after Euro 2016 was used as a case study
- Eddie Jones’s men were told to ‘think it but don’t say it’ at the World Cup
- The players will be closely monitored after the Israel Folau homophobia storm
England’s rugby stars have been told to ‘think it but don’t say it’ at the World Cup – with footballer Raheem Sterling used as a social media case study.
Players’ agents were briefed at a seminar at Twickenham on Tuesday by RFU director Nigel Melville and leading sports media lawyer Matt Himsworth.
In light of the recent Israel Folau homophobia storm – which No 8 Billy Vunipola became heavily involved in – players’ Twitter and Instagram activity will be closely monitored.
England’s rugby stars have been given a seminar on the use of social media at the World Cup
RFU director Nigel Melville and sports lawyer Matt Himsworth briefed Eddie Jones’s players
The seminar highlighted the backlash faced by Sterling in 2016, when he sent a video to friends of his crystal-encrusted sink after England were knocked out of the European Championships.
Himsworth has worked with Sterling, Sheikh Mansour and JK Rowling and issued a warning about the perils of seemingly private online material being leaked.
England must submit their social media guidelines to World Rugby and tournament guidelines will impose a shutdown on posts about unofficial commercial partnerships.
Eddie Jones intends to address the issue personally with his squad when they gather in camp on Sunday – but wants his players to embrace the positive benefits of the internet.
The players’ social media will be closely monitored after the Israel Folau homophobia storm
Eddie Jones’s men were told to ‘think it but don’t say it’ after being briefed at Twickenham
Addressing the comments of Vunipola, who recently got married in Tonga, Jones said: ‘I think that’s done and dusted now. That was dealt with by his club and dealt very well by the RFU, so Billy now when he comes in on Sunday he is a married man, he’s on England duty and we expect him to follow the values of the team – and I’m sure he will.’
He added: While social media can be a massive distraction, it can also be valuable because it reaches out to the fans. You see teams recently using social media in a very positive way to encourage the relationship between the team and the fans. I just saw Phil Neville – terrible haircut! – make a nice thank you to the fans.’
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