Good communication is critical in rugby and some of the stars of the Australian rugby team have taken it off the field and onto the web with a burst of activity on Twitter.

@giteau_rugby, @rabbit832 and @quadecooper before Saturday's game

Perhaps it’s from the giddy highs of their win against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday, one of the best performances an Australian team has put on for many years. But over the weekend some of the squad’s key players have been hyperactive on the social network, talking to fans and pulling back the curtains on the Wallaby camp as they tweet about their roommates, pets, and practical jokes.

The tweeters comprise most of the Wallaby back line that starred on Saturday: Quade Cooper (@QuadeCooper), Matt Giteau (@giteau_rugby), James O’Connor (@Rabbit832), Drew Mitchell (@drew_mitchell) and Adam Ashley-Cooper (@AdamCoopy).

It appears Giteau got a buzz cut from his Mitchell last night and posted a picture of the new do on Twitter. Mitchell reported: “Yes the cut is complete @giteau_rugby got his hair cut by @drew_mitchell n @AdamCoopy.. Pretty standard cut but another happy customer.”

Earlier in the week the Git posted a picture of his dog.

He also revealed after Saturday’s match that Mitchell and Ashley-Cooper had been trying to catch each other with practical jokes. “Drew and coop have this on going battle to stitch each other up!” he said. “I’m backing drew.”

And thanks to Twitter we know what happened. Mitchell wrote later: “@drew_mitchell 1 @AdamCoopy Nil. Haha the old jalepeno in the subway trick.. Thankya”

To which Ashley-Cooper replied: “@drew_mitchell my mouth is on fire….”

Ashley-Cooper posted this morning that his roommate “@QuadeCooper was fairly knocking back the ZZz’s last night.. Thought he was going to take off…!!”

Mitchell, the hard-running winger who showed some ballet skills with an unorthodox sugar-plum-fairy pirouetting try on Saturday (see it in the highlights here) has outed himself as one of the Twitter agitators in the team, saying he hoped Kurtley Beale would soon be on board but that Berrick Barnes had said “no way”. (Update 12.55pm: It looks like Beale may have signed up: @kurtley_beale.)

Cooper, meanwhile, in response to messages from fans, has acknowledged being devastated by his two-week suspension for a dangerous tackle.

(One quick sporting note about Cooper’s game on Saturday – Wayne Smith notes in The Australian this morning that Cooper, playing at fly-half, kicked only once in the game on Saturday. If you’re not into rugby, the translation here is the less a fly-half kicks, the more his team runs the ball which makes for a more exciting game. To kick just once is unheard of.)

Thanks to Twitter we also know Cooper has a new puppy. James O’Connor – the boy wonder who looks like he ran on as the team mascot and just decided to stay on the field – went pet shopping with his teammate last week and tweeted a photo of their purchase.

So what to make of all this?

It will inevitably raise some curmudgeonly questions about whether the tweeting backs are focussed enough on their rugby.

But Cooper and O’Connor have been tweeting frantically for some time and they put in outstanding performances at the weekend.

It lets fans track preparations and get an insight into the personalities who wear the gold jersey for the country. No harm if a few more of them get involved.

After their performance on Saturday the anticipation is already high ahead of this weekend’s Test in Melbourne against the All Blacks. The Kiwis have been in rampaging form too and if the Wallabies play like they did on Saturday it has the makings of a classic.

And if you’re that way inclined everyone can tweet their support to the players ahead of it.

Go the @QantasWallabies.

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33 comments

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    • Nick says:

      12:26pm | 26/07/10

      Three things:

      1. I’d pay to read the real Robbie Deans on Twitter. I think there’s a fake account which is pretty funny.
      2.SANZAR needs to stop the suspensions for minor things. Rugby is a contact sport!!
      3. Great to see a Wallabies article. They don’t get a lot of mainstream coverage.

    • All Bleek says:

      09:02am | 30/07/10

      Spear tackles are not “minor” ever heard of Jared McCraken? His career was ended by a spear tackle so I’m glad that SANZAR have shown their strict stance on spear tackles.

      I recall Tuqiri putting a spear tackle on Richie McCaw a few years back which didn’t earn him a yellow card and that was worse than Cooper’s on Steyn!

    • Battered Sav says:

      12:56pm | 26/07/10

      Riveting stuff.

    • S.L says:

      01:16pm | 26/07/10

      I still enjoy reading the confusion when Victorians try to differentiate between League and Union. Where’s all the “AFL is the best football code” comments?

    • Rob r Charteris says:

      01:52pm | 26/07/10

      S.L says:01:16pm; hopefully being filtered out, putting Union and League in the same pot is criminal

    • @sheedysleftfoot says:

      01:24pm | 26/07/10

      Must admit the #wallabies v #dirtyfiltycheatingeyegougingscumfromsouthafrica was a good game on the pitch and very entertaining in the twitterverse aswell.

      Whilst a lot of the tweeting is inane, some of the comments and commentators are genuinely very funny indded. As for the players tweets, good on them, is interesting to know what they are up to and as you say gives fans a taster of the personalities represnting them in the green and gold jersey.

    • Rob r Charteris (All Black supporter) says:

      01:37pm | 26/07/10

      I very much enjoyed the game on Saturday, I knew the Wallabies could do it. More than a lil pissed off they have suspended Quade Cooper he is a play maker that will be missed. He reminds me of Carlos Spencer with his passing skills. I thought sin binning both Quade and Fourie was enough not sure why the latter got 4 weeks, 2 weeks more than Quade for the same offence. If they’re going to suspend then put them on report and let them stay on the field. I’m looking forward to this weekend. But in reality the Wallabies will still need to pick up a gear or two. Both victories over SA by the AB’s were four tries a piece collecting the bonus point. Looking back at SA’s match against Italy recently they didn’t look great, thug rugby doesn’t get you very far in today’s game. Should be a great match this Saturday.

    • Macca says:

      02:21pm | 26/07/10

      @Rob, woah, woah, woah. Lets not get ahead of ourselves. Comparing King Carlos to Cooper! they may be comparable amongst certain skills, but there is one facet that Spencer has always had over Cooper.

      ... choking

    • S.L says:

      03:42pm | 26/07/10

      @ Rob r. True Carlos Spencer was a solid player for the All Blacks but lets be honest here. His tackling was comparable to David Campese…...... terrible!

    • Phil says:

      04:03pm | 26/07/10

      Macca So you bought one of those Special Edition Ford Falcon All Blacks World Cup Edition did you.

      Special features - AUTOMATIC CHOKE

    • All Bleek says:

      09:04am | 30/07/10

      How many Super 14 titles or Bledisloe and Tri Nations Cups has Cooper won compared to Spencer?

      *crickets*

      Yep thought so, I love how Wallaby fans call the AB’s perennial chokers when they are the most consistent Rugby team in history.

      Sure a few WC’s have been dissapointing but the Wallabies cabinet just has the receipt from Bunnings in it.

    • Mb says:

      01:56pm | 26/07/10

      Or perhaps Paul it’s because you;ve just found out about this. It’s been going on for ages.

    • rugbytwit says:

      02:28pm | 26/07/10

      Ummm if by ages you mean four days ... as far as I can tell Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell joined Twitter on Friday. Giteau only started regularly tweeting on the weekend and Kurtley Beale joined today.

    • Ted says:

      02:09pm | 26/07/10

      Beat the All Blacks be alot more pleasing than wasting your time on Twitter. Leave that to KRudd…...he has the time.

    • Gregg says:

      02:18pm | 26/07/10

      I’m all for any good stories on sport but a story on their tweeting! and yep a good win for the Wallabies though some terrible ball handling that could have involved some selfishness - Rocky running himself out of room rather than giving off a pass and then Quade hanging on too long trying to do it all himself and commentator reckons he didn’t know O’Connor was on his shoulder being a couple of glaring examples.
      As to the Quade/Fourie tackles Rob, I agree they could have both got the same for though the Fourie one seemed more solid, Quades was more off the ball and I reckon being sent off and suspension sends a good strong message.
      Berrick ought to be more than capable of filling Quades boots and to some extent I feel his boots are too big for him, Berrick being more a team guy and not too sure why he has been warming the bench for he has been something that Australia needed from what I’ve seen of his past performances.
      Some great tackling by the forwards and all players but we just still seem to lacking some oomph up forward for the scrums.
      Meanwhile, will tweeting do the YoYos cycling now le Tour is gone! for another year.

    • D says:

      02:41pm | 26/07/10

      These guys can read and write?!

    • Macca says:

      03:04pm | 26/07/10

      @D, many Union players are actually quite intelligent, going on to have quite succesful private careers after their playing careers are over.

      John Eales runs a consultancy firm and writes for the Fin. Review, Nick Farr-Jones is a lawyer and Tim Horan is a banker.

      This comes from many Rugby players in Australia learning their trade in the elite private Schools in Sydney and Brisbane (basically the few areas where Rugby Union is dominate sport amongst young men in Australia). I’m not going to get into a discussion on Public vs Private etc etc etc, but rather say that the education many Rugby Union players have whilst they are still at school seems to have a positive impact on their lives well after their playing days are over

    • Markus says:

      05:46pm | 26/07/10

      Add to that list Al Baxter the architect, and Brett Robinson and John Roe, who are now qualified medical doctors (put their studies on hold for a shot at their dream of Wallaby gold).

    • D says:

      10:35am | 29/07/10

      Haha, I was just trying to wind people up and get a reaction, but you all kept your cool. However, I didn’t realise some of these guys are pretty damn intelligent!

    • Graham S says:

      03:33pm | 26/07/10

      Since when does a combined NSW/QLD rugby team have the gall to call itself Australia? This pathetic minor sport played in two states only, not one player from WA / SA / VIC /NT or TAS in the team and quite frankly little if any interest outside those two states Give us a break & spare these laughable, throwing the ball backwards blockheads. Apparently this joke of a game is coming to Melbourne…yawn.. and we can only hope after playing on the shifting surface, laughingly called turf at the Docklands, they’ll take this boorish nonsense back to where it belongs, in front of a handful of schoolboys at a North Shore school oval. At least it’s not on free to air TV and for that we can be grateful. And calling themselves Wallabies, wow that ‘ll have the trans Tasman sheep farmers & the Boers quivering in fright at being attacked by a team named after a soft furry child’s toy.

    • Sheedy's Left Foot says:

      04:05pm | 26/07/10

      So go on Graham, which sport is universally Australian?
      League….show me the teams in SA or WA
      Soccer…Show me the teams in the NT or Tasmania
      AFL..Show me the teams in Tasmania or the NT
      Cricket…show me the team from the NT

      No code played in Australia is universal, so these people have as much right to play for Australia as any other code, apart from AFL who cannot play as Australia because there is nobody for them to play, what with it being a game that nobody outside of Australia cares about.

    • Rugby Future says:

      04:08pm | 26/07/10

      one player?

      rocky elsom, born in victoria, scott higgenbotham, born in WA.

      it may be played in minor in australia, but compared to league or AFL it has presence and proudly can call itself the international contact sport. with the third biggest world event behind the fifa world cup and the olympics (which it is in now).

      perhaps your angst is linked to some other sociological disorder. or disdain for those australians who are so achieved in this world. remembering the rugby fraternity has links to much of the private banking sector. calling them blockheads is idiotic when comparing to the other major football codes in australia. take your angst elsewhere

    • Clem says:

      04:19pm | 26/07/10

      If the players from WA/SA/NT and TAS were good enough, and knew how to run while holding the ball, you could expect them to be in the team, Graham S.

      And while it’s debatable that the game wouldn’t have been watched outside NSW and QLD (explain the full house they’ll get at the Bledisloe test this Saturday night), it certainly was watched outside Australia, such as in New Zealand, South Africa, and probably England.

      And AFL is watched in which countries outside of Australia? Sorry, can’t quite hear you…

    • Gregg says:

      04:52pm | 26/07/10

      What’s the matta Gra, the ping ponging not go too well for you on the weekend or you’ve just tried popping a few out the weak end?
      The trick is Gra, it’s the other end for you and there’s no end to supporting teams and country if you feel so inclined.
      I can go back in AFL support probably as long or longer than you and can also enjoy good games of other codes though Soccer I must admit is a less entertaining version of le Tour which is a great scenuc rise around France.
      It sounds like you’re too mired rather than wired for variation, variety the spice of life bud and if you get yourself moving you may even find somewhere it’s on FTA .
      You’re not a closet fan are you?, just a little miffed you can’t watch?
      Well why not shift the A and get yourself down to the Dome, Etihad, Docklands or whatever they keep shifting it too.
      The Celtic Club ain’t too far away where they love the Rugby and you could have a few Guiness to stiffen you up.

    • Dick J says:

      03:43pm | 26/07/10

      Love rugby but not the professional rugby so much. It is all too serious but I suppose that is the way these days.

      Not too long ago these fellows had jobs or were at uni. Rugby was their sport and training one or two nights each week. Sadly the days of having from doctors to engineers to carpenteters to labourers playing alongside each other are gone.

      There ought to be and Australian amateur team. It is much more fun when you play for the joy rather than a paypacket. Imagine how boring it gets training week in week out.

      If I ran the ARU each player would be required to spend one day a week working for charity and one day in class studying something like philosophy, ethics or english literature.

    • Yena says:

      07:28pm | 26/07/10

      If they can pull off a game as entertaining as Saturday night they can do whatever they like in their down time as far as I’m concerned!

      Let’s face it, they’re not stopping to ‘tweet’ before the scrum, or even pulling out their iPhones to update at half time, so I hardly think it’s a distraction.  Also, they’re tweeting about buying puppies and pulling pranks, hardly anything controversial… if it was league players tweeting about getting drunk and beating women it would be offensive.

      (I understand these to be the only two hobbies of League players, please correct me if I’m wrong…)

    • Davo from St Kilda says:

      09:01pm | 26/07/10

      BOORING!!! No one outside of nsw or qld gives a toss about rugby. What a useless excuse for a sport - throw the ball backwards, run forward, get tackled, throw the ball backwards, run forward, get tackled… I’d rather watch paint dry. As for the ‘bloody slow’ cup, who cares if we beat the kiwis at anything? It’s no wonder football gets the biggest crowds everywhere in the country while rugby is quickly being overtaken by soccer for second place.

    • RugbyFuture says:

      01:44pm | 29/07/10

      i suspect you’re looking at the wrong rugby idiot

    • All Bleek says:

      09:12am | 30/07/10

      Rugby being overtaken by Soccer for second place?

      Where’s your evidence for this? Because at the last QLD Roar game there weren’t even enough spectators to fill the QLD Rugby Club.

      Soccer is definately on the rise, but Rugby’s roots are still firmly planted in Australian culture, and moreso than Soccer.

      If anybody watched the FIFA World Cup and especially the constant “diving” I doubt that they’ll be tuning into the A-League for a fix

    • S.L says:

      05:51am | 27/07/10

      No one doubts the popularity of AFL in the Southern States Davo but knocking another codes rule book is a bit rich. Obviously throwing the ball back to move forward is to give the attack another hurdle to cross in order to score otherwise the game would be American Gridiron.
      Now your favoured game….
      Drop the ball: no penalty
      Hands make contact with the ball after a kick for 1 millisecond before falling to the ground: Mark
      Snot a player nowhere near general play: on report and of course there aren’t send offs.
      Passing the ball by punching out of the hand holding the ball: handpass (what’s wrong with throwing it?)
      Ok your guys can make a good quid in the states as punters after they retire from ping pong but when a Gridiron ball is even smaller than yours it isn’t that difficult!

    • Macca says:

      10:43am | 27/07/10

      @S.L don’t forget that the indigenous game is the only sport where you get a point for missing…

    • Sarah King says:

      09:13am | 13/07/11

      To Take a name of an Australian animal like Wallabies, Tassie Devils, Kangaroos, Wombats, Kookaburras, Koalas, Qualls,  etc, one needs to ask if the company who uses the names have any idea about the welfare of these poor animals?
      Wouldn’t it be great if support for there long term welfare and land management was the most important part of this adoption of the Australian Animal they are representing.

 

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