TODAY |

BBC reporter left 'in my car crying' after social media abuse for grilling England rugby captain Owen Farrell

England Rugby has come to the defence of a television reporter after she copped "toxic abuse" on social media for her post-match interviews following England's Six Nations loss to Wales this morning.

BBC reporter Sonja McLaughlin admitted she was left "in my car crying" after she was targetted by social media trolls for her hard-nosed questions to England captain Owen Farrell, particularly around the controversial call to award Wales their opening try.

Referee Pascal Gauzere waved "time on" while Farrell was still addressing his team - at the official's request - about repeated infringements, resulting in Wales catching England napping and wing Josh Adams scoring.

McLaughlin asked Farrell, Welsh captain Alun Wyn Jones and coaches Eddie Jones and Wayne Pivac about Wales' 40-24 win but soon after revealed it came at a price.

“Toxic, embarrassing, disgraceful, appalling. Just some of the feedback I’ve had," McLaughlin 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."

McLaughlin's confession led to a flood of support from the rugby community with both England and Six Nations coming forward to back her.

"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,” England Rugby said.

“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," Six Nations added.

BBC also came to the defence of their employee, issuing a statement saying it  “strongly condemns the online abuse experienced by Sonja McLaughlan after the Wales v England match. Sonja has long been a key member of our Six Nations team and she absolutely has our full support.”