The World Cup winner considered stepping back from punditry because of online abuse

Danielle Waterman opens up on trolling in new documentary

Danielle Waterman questioned whether to continue with punditry after being subjected to online trolling.

The former England player and World Cup winner known as ‘Nolli’ has commentated for Channel 4 and ITV since retiring from international rugby in 2018, but she reveals in a new documentary that she considered stepping back from a media career.

The “sting” of the online abuse came to a climax following an article about trolling directed at her.

In a new HSBC documentary, Finding Her Voice, 36-year-old Waterman said: “The guys get loads of grief from trolls and it isn’t necessarily just about my gender. But there’s always a sting in the tail.

“The way they describe me. The way they talk about what I deliver. They talk about my voice. The words they describe me (with) they would never use to describe a male pundit.

“There was one comment that was made on the back of an article that was published, about the trolling around me, and it said, ‘Well, it’s her choice to be put in the limelight’. It made me stop.

“It made me think about, yeah, it is my choice. That was probably when I then really asked the question, ‘Do I want to do this? Why am I putting myself through this?’ I’m getting tremendously upset about things that have been written about me. It’s upsetting my family.”

You can watch the documentary here…

While Waterman contemplated taking a step back from commentary, she ultimately decided to stick with it because of the advice she gives to girls.

“One of my biggest passions is inspiring young girls,” she added. “If I’m saying to them, ‘You can do anything’ I’ve got to listen to that.

“The way I was brought up wasn’t that I was any different to my brothers. My parents were amazing and they made me believe that I could play a sport that was for boys because I was good at it.

“But it is hard when you’re the person who’s the punchbag.”

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