Published On: Tue, Feb 27th, 2024

England legend pulled from BBC’s Six Nations coverage after turning up at ground | Rugby | Sport

Ugo Monye has revealed that former England captain and head coach Martin Johnson was pulled from the BBC‘s coverage of the Six Nations last weekend after losing his voice. Johnson was set to be on punditry duties for England’s defeat to Scotland alongside Sam Warburton and John Barclay but was replaced by Monye just 30 minutes before going live.

Monye was already at Murrayfield to take part in ‘some pre-match stuff’ and did not expect to be in front of the cameras when he received the call at short notice. He was only informed that he would be filling in for Johnson around half an hour before the start of the coverage in a situation he labelled as ‘bizarre’.

Speaking on the Rugby Union Daily podcast, Monye explained: “I wasn’t meant to be in the studio for the Calcutta Cup. It was actually quite a bizarre sequence of events. I was doing some pre-match stuff with John, got a call from a producer saying: ‘Martin Johnson’s lost his voice’.

“It was about half an hour before the game, so I then walked up into the studio wearing a baseball cap, which isn’t really BBC-friendly, for the telly. So, yeah, it was a slight surprise to be covering that match but a lot of fun doing it.”

England went on to suffer their fourth straight defeat to Scotland, who made their home advantage count to earn a 30-21 victory over their traditional rivals. Duhan van der Merwe became the first Scotland player to score a Calcutta Cup hat-trick as the hosts put England to the sword yet again.

The result prompted calls for big changes in the England camp, with former Leicester and Wasps full-back Andy Goode suggesting that Steve Borthwick should be sacked while calling out a number of high-profile players.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, Goode said: “There’s a fair few players that Steve Borthwick needs to move on if we are going to evolve. [Joe] Marler, [Dan] Cole, [George] Ford, [Elliott] Daly to name a few. We’ve been bang average at best since the 2019 World Cup semi-final, I actually don’t think Borthwick and some of his assistant coaches should stay.

“Big mindset shift needed for England, some players and coaches aren’t aligned with how the game is and should be played, Ireland are the northern hemisphere barometer. England are miles behind but have players to evolve, the problem is the mindset and coaching, too risk-averse.

“Congrats to Scotland, probably should have won by more than nine points, big questions around what identity England have and want to look like, we are so far behind Ireland, Scotland and France again.”

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