Northern Ireland

Irish rugby players facing Twitter ban

Image caption Irish players have been banned from using Twitter before the game against Wales

The Ireland rugby team has reportedly been told not to tweet before Saturday's Six Nations match against Wales.

The Irish Times reported that a number of players had "testy" exchanges with critical Irish fans following their team's narrow win against Scotland last month.

"The squad has agreed not to tweet around match time," team manager Paul McNaughton told the newspaper.

"We haven't banned tweeting generally, but around match time the squad have agreed to extend the period of time when there will be no tweeting."

A number of Irish players use Twitter including captain Brian O'Driscoll, Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris and prop Cian Healy.

Ireland's example seems unlikely to be followed by their English counterparts.

In January, England manager Martin Johnson told the BBC he trusted his players to use Twitter because they knew the penalty for misusing it.

Social media, and Twitter in particular, have regularly been the subject of controversy in the sporting world in recent months.

In January, Dutch football international Ryan Babel was fined £10,000 by the FA for improper conduct after tweeting a photo of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites