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England Rugby, Six Nations and BBC condemn abuse directed at presenter

By Ian Cameron

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England Rugby, the Six Nations and the BBC have condemned abuse directed at presenter Sonja McLaughlan following yesterday’s Guinness Six Nations match between Wales and England.


McLaughlan came in for the abuse following her post-match interviews with Owen Farrell, Eddie Jones, Wayne Pivac and Alun Wyn Jones. Critics took issue with her line of questioning and her focus on the refereeing of Pascal Gauzere, among other gripes.

Such was the extent of the online shellacking that it left the veteran journalist ‘crying’ in her car.

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Owen Farrell fronts after England’s loss to Wales:
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Owen Farrell fronts after England’s loss to Wales:

“Toxic, embarrassing, disgraceful, appalling. Just some of the feedback I’ve had,” McLaughlan wrote on Twitter. “Thanks for using @ sign so it’s all hit home. Now imagine getting inundated with abuse for doing your job. In my car crying. Hope you’re happy.”

Now England Rugby, the Six Nations and the BBC have issued statements condemning the trolling she received.

England Rugby tweeted this morning: “Sonja, we are really sorry to hear this and hope you are ok. Abuse for doing your job is not OK and we stand with you. We will see you for the next one. Hold your head high and know you have our support.

“Rugby’s core values are Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship. Whether we are fans, players, coaches, referees, volunteers or in the media we are all part of the rugby community. We should all aim to hold ourselves to these values of our great game.”

The Six Nations official Twitter account also weighed in: “Sonja, we join with the rest of the rugby community to say that this is not ok. Respect is a value of rugby we hold in the highest regard. Abuse of public figures or members of the media on social media or anywhere else is not acceptable.”

The BBC issued a statement saying: “BBC Sport strongly condemns the online abuse experienced by Sonja McLaughlan after the Wales v England match,” it said.

“Sonja has long been a key member of our Six Nations team and she absolutely has our full support.”


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