Oval Talk

Why Sky had to apologise for showing this clip before women’s rugby match

Oval Talk

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(Sky Sports screenshot)

Sports broadcasters are constantly trying to bring us viewers and fans closer to the action. As such, they try many different things in order to innovate and evolve their coverage.

Some techniques have worked over the years - such as numerous angles and slow-mo replays - but others, sadly, have not.

Sky discovered to their cost during their live coverage of England's Women's Rugby World Cup match against Ireland that peering into a pre-match huddle was not, in actual fact, a good idea.

Frankly, what did they expect?

Very understandably given the context of the situation and the stakes on the line in the crunch World Cup clash, England captain Katy McLean did not hold back with her choice of language.

McLean was, after all, attempting to rally her troops with a passionate and fired up pep talk before the match with plenty on the line.

What proceeded was an incredibly awkward few moments as the England captain let rip with a volley of expletives and some very choice language.

You can take a look at the rant by watching the video below...


The Sky commentators attempted to talk over her, but to little avail as her expletive-laden rant was picked up very loudly by the microphone that had been shoved into the huddle along with the camera.

The fact that it was before the watershed too, left Sky with no choice but to apologise on air and attempt to brush the incident under the proverbial carpet.

While the idea clearly did not work, Sky can at least be credited with attempting something new and interesting for the viewer, regardless of the end result.

Crashing pre-match huddles will, we assume, be thrown on the scrapheap of ideas for broadcasting innovation, along with BT Sport's constant on-pitch punditry with experts being pelted by stray balls.

It is yet another reminder for broadcasters that, at the sharp edge of competitive sport, there are still some places that microphones and cameras do not belong.

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