Jacob Stockdale has revealed the vile abuse he received on social media after the Ireland World Cup exit at the hands of the All Blacks last October. New Zealand ended Ireland’s run at last year’s tournament with a 46-14 victory in a high-anticipated quarter-final match-up.
Stockdale told the Irish Times how after the Ireland loss fans came at him on Twitter with messages that included a death threat. “You get certain messages, private messages and stuff that are incredibly hurtful or aggressive. After the New Zealand quarter-final I got messages from people telling me to kill myself and things like that, which is obviously awful.
“For me whenever I was reading those messages, they didn’t annoy me as much because I knew these people were trolls and they were just trying to get a reaction out of me. I’m sure… I’d hope they didn’t actually mean what they were saying.
“Funny enough the ones that really annoyed me were the ones where people were saying that I wasn’t any good at rugby. They were frustrating because I felt they didn’t know as much about rugby as I did. It felt that they really meant it [the criticism] and those would be the ones that would annoy me more than the people messaging me and telling me to top myself.
“If I was sick I would ask a doctor what was wrong with me but I wouldn’t walk up the street and ask a ‘randomer’ what he thought.”
Stockdale went on to admit his form wasn’t what he had hoped for at the finals in Japan, but he hopes he has put the experience to good use. “Good sportspeople, whenever they have a dip in form they don’t just do the same thing. They go back and review what they were doing when it was going right,” he added.
“My dip in form probably came around the World Cup time, where I felt I didn’t have the performances that I was looking for. The lockdown has given me a really good opportunity to go and watch all my games from the last four years and realise what was going right and what wasn’t.”
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