If New Zealand's premier rugby players weren't already aware of the constant scrutiny they're under, they sure should be now.

Whatever the true version of events, which will emerge in time, the messy fallout from the Crusaders' tour of South Africa once again proves in the age of social media and camera phones, there is no escaping the public glare.

Behind closed doors of team environments or in the comfort of home surroundings, these are the only places professional athletes can drop their guard. That is their reality.

It's another reminder of the need for all athletes to check themselves before they wreck themselves.

As soon as athletes step out of the front door they