Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Lions apologise for tweets

Andy Irvine has stressed the importance of using social media correctly
Andy Irvine has stressed the importance of using social media correctly

The British and Irish Lions have apologised for "inappropriate" material published on their official Twitter feed.

Two recent tweets on @lionsofficial have been removed. One of them was believed to have included a photograph of an injured animal.

A tweet on the Lions twitter feed read: "@lionsofficial would like to apologise for any offence caused by recent and inappropriate tweets."

The Lions' official Twitter account currently has more than 91,000 followers, while it has sent out almost 6,000 tweets.

The account's profile reads: "The only Official twitter account for 2013 British & Irish Lions. If you love the Lions follow them here and join the 'Sea of Red' heading to Australia."

The Lions play their opening tour game against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1, then nine games in Australia that are highlighted by three Test match appointments with the Wallabies.

Coach Warren Gatland's 37-man squad, which was announced last week, contains 15 Welshmen, 10 English, nine Irish and three Scots.

Lions tour manager Andy Irvine spoke at the squad announcement in London about the need for responsible use of social media by players, and confirmed there would be a squad protocol.

"Social media these days you can make a mistake and it can be around the world in seconds. We do have a protocol we will be following," Irvine said.

"It's not as if we are headmasters and telling kids what to do. There will be an opportunity for the players to look at it (protocol) and accept it and understand it. It takes years to build up a good reputation, but you can lose it in seconds. We are alert to that."

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