At the weekend, James Haskell released a video via his own youtube channel (34,000 subscribers) in which he insisted that he was not dead.
Apparently, there were a plethora of fake news stories circulating around facebook which were alleging that Haskell had died of a drugs overdose. Though, we would wager that Haskell's denial will be the first most will have heard of the death hoax.
You may have seen there are quite a lot of fake news stories operating on Facebook, that I have died of a steroid overdose, which is not true, that I have died of a drug overdose, which is not true, and that my career is over because I have been trying to sell drugs.
Just to make it clear, this is absolute rubbish. It is all click-bait. Rest assured, I’m not dead and not disgraced and for those of you who are sceptical, we get drugs-tested all the time.
I’m not dead and for those of you who wish I was dead, better luck next time.
That he was in a position to issue such denials will be taken by most people as proof of his veracity on the matter.
Although, presumably there are those of a more conspiratorial cast of mind who will nod their head in weary disdain and sigh that the ignorant masses are being duped by a grade-A Haskell impersonator.
Haskell's sign off line - a shout-out to those multitudes who supposedly wished him dead - was a touch strange.
We will concede that English rugby players are not the most popular of specimens among those residents of the Celtic nations but we don't detect any appetite to see Haskell's death. All right-thinking people would condemn such sentiments.
His youtube channel, by the way, caters to those who "enjoy staying fit and healthy", a consitituency which includes 0.0001% of people working in the media (Fake stat).