Tohill warns players tweeting will break rules

ANTHONY TOHILL has enforced a Twitter ban on his International Rules squad in Australia.

Colm Begley revealed he was warned by last year’s captain Steven McDonnell to hold back on tweeting about the team after publishing photographs of skipper Stephen Cluxton, Leighton Glynn and Pearce Hanley early last week.

Speaking before the trip Down Under, Tohill said Twitter was a matter he would address with his players, at least nine of whom have accounts on the social networking website.

“There was a bit of a ban going on,” said the Laois captain who arrived with Cluxton and Glynn last Monday because of club commitments. “I had training with Parnells the time it was first mentioned. I wasn’t here the first day the players got here.

“I came down one morning and Stevie McDonnell came over and said ‘Colm, lay back on the Twitter’. I said ‘What’s up?’ and he told me there was a ban on it. I was thinking ‘Jesus’. I just like putting up the odd tweet here and there. I can understand where they were coming from. I see it as a bit of harmless fun and wasn’t going to give any secrets on the team but whatever’s good for the team has to be done and we’ve to stay focused and a job to do.

“For me, it’s for people back home and friends and letting them know what I’m experiencing here. All my friends are asking me what we’re doing over here. If I was back home I’d love to hear about it.

“Hopefully, after it’s over and all going well next Friday I can put up a few pics. I’ve an abundance of them ready to go. The banter we’re having here is fantastic.”

Meanwhile, Tohill’s squad were forced to cancel their two-day training camp outside Sydney due to the Qantas airline strike.

The group of 40 flew directly to the Gold Coast yesterday evening with Virgin Airlines after finding accommodation at the last minute in Mantra Hotel close to Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport on Saturday night.

The squad were due to leave Melbourne on Saturday evening to spend three nights in New South Wales’ resort Terrigal.

They had checked in and were ready to board the flight when they were informed the flights were cancelled.

“We were very lucky to get it sorted out so quickly,” said tour co-ordinator, the GAA’s director of games administration and player welfare Feargal McGill.

“We were lucky with the hotel.

“It could have been a lot worse. A lot of people were lounging around hotels without a room. We were all checked in by 8.30pm.”

Australia’s tourism industry is in crisis following the decision by Qantas’ Tallaght-born chief executive to ground the Australian national airline’s entire fleet in a response to unions’ plans to hold repeated strikes.

Elsewhere, Emmet Bolton should be fit to play in next Friday’s second and final test.

The Kildare man was discharged from hospital on Saturday morning after he remained in overnight following a serious collision in the first test.

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