British and Irish Lions 2013: Now for the Facebook and Twitter tactics as squad are warned about use of social media on this summer's Australia tour

Players will still be allowed to use Twitter and Facebook while on tour but have strict guidelines

British and Irish Lions tour manager Andy Irvine has confirmed there will be a social media protocol for players to follow on this summer's Australia tour.

Players will not be prevented from using the likes of Twitter or Facebook, but Irvine is well aware of the possible hazards.

"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."

Irvine is confident there will be no issues with any of the 37-man Lions squad, the make-up of which he announced in London today.

"In the modern game, selection is not just an art form, it's a science. The detail these guys (coaches) go into is really incredible," he added.

"The only area I might have interfered in is if they had picked a controversial character that would have been a risk or a damage to the tour in a personality sense, or someone who was so high profile there would be a media circus following them.

"That never arose, and it didn't even look like it would this time.

"You have got to have a good set of tourists, a good set of guys, and I am very confident there is not one on the tour who comes even close to being a concern."

Irvine highlighted the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa as an example of how well things can work.

Although the Lions were beaten 2-1 by their Test series opponents, the trip was notable for being a vast improvement on events in New Zealand four years previously.

"We thought long and hard in 2009 about how we were going to run the tour," said Irvine, who was Lions chairman at that time.

"And we agreed we would change quite a few things from 2005, which included a much closer relationship with our supporter base. 2009 was a very happy tour on and off the field. The only thing I would change was the Test series loss.

"This time, we might tweak one or two things, but very little because I think that 2009 template was extremely successful.

"The players will be training as hard as ever, and it will be very disciplined and very methodical, but there has to be a time when you give them some down-time because physically and mentally it is very challenging.

"We want the players to enjoy themselves, because that is part and parcel of touring, but within reason."

PA

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