BBC sports presenter Sonja McLaughlan has been left in tears by the backlash to probing interviews of England rugby captain Owen Farrell and coach Eddie Jones.
McLaughlan interviewed Farrell immediately after England lost a Test 40-24 to Wales in Cardiff on Sunday (AEDT).
It was not a soft interview, as is sometimes the case when emotions are high right after the full-time whistle. McLaughlan pressed Farrell on controversial officiating and his team’s lack of composure.
The England skipper appeared uncomfortable with the assertive questioning and mostly shut down McLaughlan with non-committal answers. She also grilled Jones over the controversial elements of the Six Nations match just after full-time.
McLaughlan later revealed that she’d been inundated with social media abuse over the interviews, causing her to break down in tears.
Former England international Ugo Monye offered McLaughlan a message of support.
So did the official Twitter account of Six Nations Rugby, posting the message: “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.”
McLaughlan’s interview with Farrell began as follows.
McLaughlan: “Owen, were England robbed by some poor officiating tonight?”
Farrell: “Umm … that’s not for us to talk about. We got our way back into it in that second half and didn’t quite finish it off. There’s plenty that we can do better.”
Below is the full interview, in which Farrell becomes increasingly unwilling to engage with McLaughlan’s questions.
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