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Carling: Twitter trolls' abuse of Owen Farrell fueled by jealousy

By Ian Cameron
Owen Farrell /Getty

Former England captain Will Carling has branded the on-going abuse of Owen Farrell as ‘so wrong’ and believes it is at least partly down to jealously.


Current England skipper Owen Farrell was again in the cross hairs of critics following the dramatic Wales England Guinness Six Nations clash in Cardiff.

Both Farrell’s discussions with match day referee Pascal Gauzere – after the Frenchman awarded a try to Josh Adams in dubious circumstances –  and his at times curt post-match interview with the BBC’s Sonja McLaughlan, were pinpointed by trolls who went in hard on the flyhalf on Twitter.

There were undeniable shades of Mike Brown’s infamous 2015 interview after host England lost to Wales in the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup and Farrell’s many critics were happy to make hay.

This morning Carling, who has been involved with England coaching in recent years, has come to the defence of Farrell, stating that ‘a losing England captain’ is far more likely to be subjected to abuse than his peers in the competition.

“Some of worst elements of Twitter appear after sport. The tirade of abuse for Farrell is so wrong. Due to jealousy and supposed national pride. A losing England captain is subjected to more abuse than any other 6 Nations. The man played well and was dignified during interviews.”

Carling himself was the subject of plenty of flak back in his playing days, albeit over a decade before the advent of social media. Carling’s private life provided regular fodder for the British red-tops in the 1990s, long before members of the general public had the ability to direct digital abuse at celebrities via social media.


It was a bad weekend for the sport regarding the online behavior of fans. McLaughlan, the other participant in the pitch-side interview with Farrell, was left in tears in her car after the match.

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



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