The real deal?
December 27, 2012
Super Gav's Twitter account is a massive hit © Getty Images
It has been a year where Twitter parody accounts hit the headlines almost as many times as their real life counterparts. While the most famous of these was tearing it up in India recently for the England cricket team, there have been some notable efforts from around the rugby world. This week's Scrum Sevens picks out some of our favourites.
'Richard Cockerill' - @call_me_cockers
The Leicester coach has very little time for Twitter. Richard Thorpe's transfer to the Tigers was revealed by the back-row on his Twitter account which prompted Cockerill to say: "He [Thorpe] will not be using Twitter to be discussing any of those things anymore. If he didn't know beforehand, he certainly knows about it now."
And Cockerill has previous with Twitter having banned Jordan Crane from using the social networking tool back in 2010 when the back-rower (there seems to be a pattern here) confirmed the nature of an injury he suffered against Munster. Cockerill was less than impressed and said: "The next time he does it, I will break both of his ankles." But despite his clear hatred for the social networking tool, someone has set up a parody account in honour of the former England hooker.
'Graham Rowntree' - @RowntreesEar
This is more a connoisseur's parody account with one of the scribe's followers former England lock Martin Bayfield. If the sport had a list of 'Rugby Wonders of the World' then Graham Rowntree's ears would feature. They epitomise what it means to be a front-row forward and, like art, are an ever-present reminder of yesteryear.
While this member of the Twitterati is not as prolific as a certain Welsh fly-half who features a little later, there are some gems in the arsenal.
'Steve Hansen' - @ShagsHansen
'All Blacks Head Coach. I only need 1 assistant because that's how Shags rolls' is the brief for Hansen's parody account. He has only been in charge of the All Blacks for a year but he is a well known face in Kiwi rugby circles having acted as Graham Henry's right-hand man during the World Cup-winning coach's tenure.
And the account seems to have been taken on by someone who feels that the rugby world is against New Zealand with IRB boss Brett Gosper a target for their feeling of disgruntlement.
'Sir Graham Henry' - @SirGrahamHenry
According to Sir Graham's Twitter profile, he is the Messiah of New Zealand Rugby. A bold claim but when you consider that Henry led the All Blacks to their 2011 World Cup triumph, then he can just about get away with anything. Boasting a solid 7,219 followers, Sir Graham Henry is a solid addition to the Twitter parody accounts in any sport and not just rugby.
'Robbie Deans' - @DingoDeans
It has been a difficult 2012 for Deans with his Australian side still failing to beat the All Blacks and unable to retain the Tri-Nations trophy in the newly expanded Rugby Championship. He also appeared to fall out with mercurial fly-half Quade Cooper, which seemed to anger the Twitter account. Deans' response to Cooper labelling the Wallabies' environment toxic? "Yeah? Well I'm not inviting you to my party now @QuadeCooper".
And despite Deans' position in charge of the Wallabies appearing precarious, he seems bullish on his Twitter account. "So @ShagsHansen and I have the same tour record? Calling ARU re contract extension as we speak". It seems the parody accounts like sticking together!
'Tom Dunn' - @dunnanator
He's still cutting his teeth at Bath and has made just one Premiership appearance, but someone has taken the time out to create a parody account for the young hooker. And it is hilarious.
'Gavin Henson' - @UnrealGavHenson
We will be honest - we are massive fans of the Gavin Henson parody account on Twitter. With views on all things Wales, you can rely on Super Gav to brighten up your day. He currently has an impressive 11,657 followers and one journalist writing for a Sunday newspaper was even fooled by the parody account and thought it was the real deal.
Here are just a few of his gems:
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Tom Hamilton is the Assistant Editor of ESPNscrum.