The Sunday Times Column: Forget the Wags, let’s turn the spotlight on the Habs


We’re in prime Wag-baiting season. The summer-long takedown of sporting spouses is no longer limited to the Fifa World Cup. Wag, once short for footballers’ wives, is now used to patronise any well-turned-out woman.

Commentators have coined “Wwags” (Wimbledon wives and girlfriends); “Wabs” (wives and birdies — for golfing girls) and “Cwags” (cricket wives and girlfriends). Now, in honour of the Rugby World Cup, the rugby Wag has entered the scrum.

The lead Wags Camilla Kerslake (the England captain Chris Robshaw’s girlfriend) and Chloe Madeley (the England flanker James Haskell’s missus) join a team of other rugger Wags whose lives are being picked over and social-media accounts trolled.

The war on Wags may be adapted for whichever sport is au courant, but whatever the game, Wags remain accused of the same crimes. They are blamed for reviving 1980s fashion, for making little girls vacant, for encouraging them to take selfies and get fake boobs, spider lashes and Ronseal tans. Among gossips, they’re claimed to have fantastical bitch fights. By fashionistas, they’re charged with crimes against couture, such as creating a baglash against the Hermès Birkin. Among high-minded hecklers, they are accused of being gold-diggers. Everyone else just says they’re thick. The only accusation Wags never face is that they are sports fans.

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