Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Tweet as, bro... how Aussie's Cup stars get their kicks

Adam Ashley-Cooper (left) with an ice-pack strapped to his ear, and Kurtly Beale cutting his hair. Photos / Twitter
Adam Ashley-Cooper (left) with an ice-pack strapped to his ear, and Kurtly Beale cutting his hair. Photos / Twitter

Fans are enjoying a level of access to players not seen in previous Rugby World Cups, largely thanks to players using social networking sites such as Twitter.

The All Blacks have been banned from tweeting, but players from other teams have used their accounts to post photos and show how video games, movies and silly haircuts are used to kill downtime on tour.

The Wallabies are especially active, with flanker David Pocock tweeting a picture of centre Adam Ashley-Cooper with an ice-pack elaborately strapped to his ear.

"When backs get cauliflower ears!" he tweeted.

Pocock also posted a picture of star halfback Will Genia listening to music while waiting for a drug test after their victory over Italy at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday.

"DJ Will Genia with the sound dock, waiting with his drug tester till he's ready to go ... " Pocock wrote.

First five Quade Cooper saw conspiracy in his own selection for a drug test.

"Finally finished my drug test ... note to self hold on and don't piss b4 the game! Iv drunk so much water ima be up all night," he wrote. "Apparently its random lol not convinced."

Cooper has also posted pictures of teammates Genia and Kurtly Beale cutting their hair using clippers in what looks like their hotel bathroom. Next to a shot of Genia with a number 10 shaved into the side of hair soon to be cut off, Cooper tweeted: "willie G got a haircut last night haha nice of him to get my number in it!"

And Wallabies winger James O'Connor couldn't resist a public gloat after victories against teammates in games of Rugby Challenge on the Sony PlayStation.

England fans also learned via Twitter that Kiwi-born hooker Dylan Hartley bought a 1963 Vauxhall Victor while in Dunedin.

Hartley tweeted that the car was "mint" before taking teammates James Haskell, Ben Foden and Chris Aston on what must have been a snug tour of the city. After the Otago Daily Times picked up the story Hartley sent a picture of him reading the story in his first car.

- NZ Herald

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