Rugby’s image tainted by Twitter wars

IT’S ANOTHER busy week at London Scottish as we look forward to hosting our local rivals Esher on Saturday at the Richmond Athletic Ground. We missed out narrowly at Nottingham last weekend, losing 33-31 in a game we possibly could have won.

However, along with the performances of our two new Argentine international signings, Agustine Gosio and Alfredo Lalanne, I was also very pleased with the impact of our three dual-registered signings Elliot Daly, Dave Sisi and Guy Armitage, the younger brother of Delon and Steffon, the England internationals from London Irish.

RESPONSIBILITY
I have been following with interest the controversy that has emerged after the game between my old club Gloucester and Saracens last weekend.

Following Saracens victory at Kingsholme Stadium, the Gloucester centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu launched a Twitter attack on Sarries’ young fly-half Owen Farrell, accusing him of being arrogant and telling him to watch his back.

One of my favourite sayings is the one about rugby being a game for hooligans played by gentlemen, and football being a game for gentlemen played by hooligans.

Traditionally, one of the great things about our sport is that while there is confrontation and battles between opposing players on the pitch, we retain that sense of camaraderie off it.

I also believe that’s why the atmosphere in the stands is so great, and the banter between opposing sets of supporters is friendly and they can gladly share a beer or two together after the game.

For me, this is the major issue surrounding social media in rugby. Too many of the on-pitch battles are being continued off it via the likes of Twitter. A number of our squad at Scottish are regular tweeters, and we have made sure they have been fully briefed with support from the RFU about what is and isn’t acceptable.

Rugby is a fantastic game, and the spirit in which it is played needs to be kept sacrosanct for the good of the sport. I am concerned that social media is eroding some of that, and players need to recognise that they have a responsibility to keep feuds on the pitch.

Simon Amor is Head Coach at London Scottish. Their next match is against Bedford Blues on Saturday 3pm, Richmond Athletic Ground Like us at facebook.com/LondonScottishFC

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