With the inception of professional rugby, so too has emerged the spectre of the media trained player.
Naturally, clubs would prefer their players not speak out of turn, which could be argued is fair enough in the face of a tabloid media climate in which professional sports star are closely monitored for perceived missteps, which can be turned into headlines.
But that mechanism comes into direct conflict, or rather at the cost of emotional investment in interviews or video statements.
This can sometimes be the case in club produced video content.
Such a video of Manu Tuilagi has been released by Leicester Tigers, who are unveiling their 2018/19 season this week. Tuilagi was telling the audience about how it is ‘a dream come true’ to play for Tigers. The delivery of the content didn’t quite hit the emotional note that maybe Tigers were looking for.
? @ManuTuilagi says it is a “dream come true” and “privilege” to wear the Tigers badge.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) July 22, 2018
The flat delivery from Tuilagi hasn’t escaped comment on Twitter.
Such is the monotone and decidedly indifferent nature of Tuilagi’s delivery, that one popular social media even likened it to a hostage video.
Hostage message from Leicester Tigers:
— RugbyInsideLine (@RugbyInsideLine) July 22, 2018
Such enthusiasm… https://t.co/WvBsnnehfX
— thedeadballarea (@thedeadballarea) July 22, 2018
You can’t blame the Samoan born centre for possibly being a little jaded, who is on a bid to recapture his form ahead of next year’s World Cup.