Most pieces written about rugby league players and “grams” are done by court reporters sometimes covering professional athletes. Not this one.
In a world where a smart phone is the key to becoming a social media influencer, athletes have the ability to open the door to a world full of sponsored posts and paid for content.
So who are the absolute must follows within the NRL? Speaking to the captains/club representatives at the NRL Season Launch in Sydney, I asked the questions “Who’s got the strongest Instagram game at your club?”
Alex Johnson nominates soon to be Rooster Angus Crichton (Handle: @anguscrichton Followers: 18.7) and Adam Reynolds (@rendiggiti7 102k) as the players you should be following at the Bunnies.
Tim Mannah could not get the name Corey Norman (@coreynorman 51.8k) out of his mouth quick enough.
“He plays the cool, doesn’t care image but he’s very calculated, he puts out an image that he wants out there he’s very good at it.”
Representing one fifth of the Wests Tigers captaincy, Chris Lawrence decided it was line ball between David Nofoluma (@davidnofoaluma 24.8k) and recently arrived Bulldog Josh Reynolds (@joshreynolds9 82.6k).
If Beau Ryan (@therealbeauryan 384k) was still at the club it would be a no brainer but co-captain Wade Graham instead went with James Segeyaro (@chicko9 39.4k) as the best Grammer at the Sharks.
“He’s doesn’t miss on the social media, he’s on it every day so he’d want to be pretty good at it.”
Outside of the War Memorial there isn’t much to take photos of in Canberra but Jarrod Croker was quick to nominate a couple of teammates.
“Blake Austin’s (@blakeaustin6 36.1k) pretty full on with his Instagram, Elliott Whitehead (@elliottw1989 12.2k – Private account) is good for a story, he doesn’t put a photo up but he puts a lot of stories up.”
Icebergs, Bondi Beach, Coogee Pavilion… the Eastern Suburbs are an Instagrammers dream so you’d think at the glamour club there would be plenty of players with strong Instagram profiles but captain Jake Friend was definitive in his nomination.
“Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (@jwh_755 83.1k), he’s forever posting and forever scrolling to see how many likes he got.”
Captain Peter Wallace couldn’t split two of his rep teammates.
“It’s a very close match race Trent Merrin (@trentmerrin 46.9k) and Josh Mansour (@JoshMansour_ 59.2k).”
Like most rugby league fans watching the game, Josh Jackson was unable to separate the Morris brothers (@jmozzle 80.1k and @bmozzle 71.8k).
“One of the Morris boys I think, I’m not sure who has the most followers but I’d think it would be one of those boys.”
With Jarryd Hayne’s off season departure there was only ever going to be one candidate for Kevin Proctor to put forward.
“Has to be Koni (@koni_hurrell 159k), I think he’s one of the strongest in the League.”
Nearly all of the club nominees have a following in excess of 20,000 but Gareth Widdop threw an up and coming Instagrammer as the Dragon’s best.
“Tristan Sailor (@tristansailor 5k). Bit like his old man, always posting photos with his shirt off."
Wonder where he gets it from?
With an entire country to themselves, the Warriors winner according to Gerard Beale is one of the most followed players in the comp.
“Shaun Johnson (@shaun_johnson90 291k). He’s got that fan base, everyone loves him and he is a good fella.”
New kid on the block Mitchell Pearce might have more followers but in terms of quality there was only one player.
“Rossdog (@_nathanross_04 14.2k) for sure. He loves promoting himself but he’s a good man so he can pull it off."
While the captain admits he has a decent following (@dalycherryevans 96.9k) he also acknowledges he doesn’t give them the time they deserve. But one particular teammate does.
“Team Kapow (Marty Tapau @martykapow 69.3k) seems to love his social media, Marty is very responsive with his social media.”