My Technology: It saves time and lets me take the mickey

England rugby player Jeremy Guscott gets the message on his mobile phone

SMS, OR Short Message Service, turns your mobile phone into a two-way pager to send and receive text messages. It is a bit like any gadget - you are not sure you are going to use it, but once you start, it can become an addiction. You can't stop sending text messages to your best mates.

Or, hopefully best mates! It's a bit worrying because it is easy to send a message to the wrong person. I guess this is because I have my numbers programmed in and can press the wrong button by accident. Sometimes I send a message and talking to my friends later on, I say - "did you get that?" - and they say "no". It's a bit of a worry. But most of my mates' numbers are programmed into my phone, so the likelihood is it will go to another friend.

I have a laugh with the SMS service. Other players use it and it starts off a little chain reaction - you send one message to one player, and before you know it, it has backfired and you are all having a go at each other! But I wouldn't go too far. Anyway, my friends are pretty streetwise. If they were out on a date, I am sure they'd turn the phone off.

The messages could be anything from taking the mickey out of one of the guy's performances in the game (no, I can't give an example), something that has happened in the game, or was written about in a newspaper. With some guys who always have their phones off, or are in a bad area, I just send messages. It's like e-mail - if their phone is off, it can be received when the phone is turned back on.

Any new gadget that saves you time on the phone, I think it's a good idea, like programming your friend's numbers, or different ringing tones for business or friends. Cellnet are the team's sponsors, so we get mobile phone courses two or three times a year; what is coming up, or what is easier. Other ideas that have been shown are the Genie Football Radio, which sends new stories on your team, or traffic reports. Mobile phones have services as innovative as BT these days.

At the moment I am training with England and I am fairly busy, but I very rarely get called out of the blue. I am not a slave to my mobile phone (the only thing I am a slave to is the remote control - you go to any home and the wife won't be able to tell you where the remote control is, but the man will). I use the mobile quite a lot, but it's generally when I am travelling. The beauty about the phone is if you don't want to talk, you turn it off and you have an answering machine.

The actual mechanics of the SMS service aren't difficult; you press a couple of buttons, get into the service, type out the message on the alphabet buttons on the phone and then press send. It's cheaper than using the mobile. After all, it's really short messages, I am not sending through an essay.

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