Irish players winning the Twitter battle over Italy ahead of Six Nations opener
Joe Schmidt's Ireland will begin their defence in Rome this weekend and if supporters are looking for an omen, the boys in green have already won the Twitter battle.
The competition creates a huge buzz on social media, last year in particular for Irish supporters as the championship was claimed in Brian O'Driscoll's final season.
More than 210,000 Tweets sent celebrating the victory during the 24 hour period of Saturday, March 15.
Not surprisingly, the Irish players also have far bigger followings than their Italian counterparts.
Tommy Bowe leads the way for Ireland with 311,000 followers. By comparison, Mauro Bergamasco is the biggest Twitter account within the Azzurri squad with over 84,000 following the versatile international.
Rob Kearney (227,000), Paul O'Connell (219,000), Cian Healy (191,000) and Jamie Heaslip (179,000) make up the top five within the Irish camp.
What a win by the boys today. Delighted for everyone involved and looking forward to an exciting few years ahead! Happy St Patricks weekend!— Tommy Bowe (@TommyBowe14) March 15, 2014