All Blacks issue Twitter ban
June 17, 2011
Winger Cory Jane is one of the more prolific Twitter users within the All Blacks squad © Getty Images
The All Blacks have been banned from using micro-blogging site Twitter during this year's Rugby World Cup.
Team management have made the move in a bid to keep the squad focused on claiming the sport's biggest prize that will be contested in New Zealand in September and October this year. "We haven't had a policy up till now, we've just asked them to make good decisions about that," head coach Graham Henry told Sky Sports. "In the All Blacks' camp, most of the time, they've made good decisions - but at Rugby World Cup time - zilch."
All Blacks manager Darren Shand said players had also been warned against using other social media outlets likes Facebook, blogging and writing newspaper columns during the tournament. "We don't want players doing it [tweeting] individually, it just creates distraction," Shand told the Dominion Post. "We want to be totally focused on the job at hand."
Shand insisted fans could stay up-to-date by following an official All Blacks Twitter feed during the tournament. "We won't be shutting ourselves away from the world," he added.
Several All Blacks are regular users of Twitter including scrum-half Piri Weepu and fullback/wing Cory Jane with the latter boasting over 14,000 followers. Jane's efforts to update his fans got him into trouble in 2009, when he and prop Neemia Tialata revealed their non-selection for a clash with England more than 24 hours before the team was officially announced. At the time Henry commented: "I had to find out what bloody Twitter was. I thought it was a new guy playing five-eighth for England."
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