A selection of the best quotes from players and coaches at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on Friday.
‘He’s taken that stupid moustache off, so that’s a good sign.’ – All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster approves of centre Jack Goodhue’s decision to remove his facial hair.
‘I’m not getting rid of the mullet. You can ask this every week but it’s not going. There is scientific evidence that shows it makes me faster. It was done at Harvard, I think.’ – All Blacks centre Jack Goodhue reveals the reason behind his old-fashioned hairstyle.
‘Inexperienced compared to the old lads like us.’ – Ireland flyhalf on how he sees the All Blacks’ backline.
‘Playing them five weeks ago helps a lot. We weren’t that well prepared in Brighton that day.’ – Springbok lock Lood de Jager hopes there will not be a repeat of the Brave Blossoms’ Brighton miracle come Sunday’s quarter-final.
‘I’ve renamed the test match as a warm-up for South Africa and rehearsal for us.’ – Japan coach Jamie Joseph’s unconventional take on his side’s 41-7 defeat against the Boks on 6 September.
‘I’ve decided to stop their scrum and maul. If we manage that probably South Africa have no other options. So I’ll stop those two.’ – Meanwhile, Japan prop Isileli Nakajima plans to single-handedly stop the the Boks’ set piece.
‘I don’t like the feeling. I prefer using my God-given hands.’ – Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk reveals why he doesn’t wrap tape around his fingers to improve his grip on the ball.
‘The planning for this quarter-final has probably been in his head for the last 10 years rather than the last four, two or 18 months.’ – Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones says coach Warren Gatland has planned meticulously for their match against France.
‘The message to the players is you’ve got two choices here – we are either on the plane on Monday or we are here until the end.’ – Wales coach Warren Gatland has told his players it’s do-or-die in the quarter-final on Sunday.
‘I look old, I don’t know if I feel old.’ – Wallabies captain Michael Hooper after being told he is idolised England flanks Tom Curry and Sam Underhill.
‘Thanks to my sloppiness, I let doubt creep into the team. We were in front but my mistake killed the mood.’ – France wing Yoann Huget on his performance that led to Les Bleus’ stunning 24-19 defeat to Wales in the Six Nations earlier this year.
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