A selection of the best quotes from players and coaches at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on Wednesday.
‘I don’t really think it’s pressure. I love the country, I love the food, I love the culture. What’s better than playing the host country in the quarter-final? That’s definitely something that you need to embrace and I’m looking forward to it.’ – Duane Vermeulen on dealing with the pressure of facing host nation Japan.
‘We’ve definitely got a few Ferraris out there as well. I don’t think I’m one of them – I’m more of a bakkie person. The guys who we play this weekend are definitely fast, quick guys. I will do my best to put them away and put them in space.’ – Willie Le Roux on bringing South Africa’s ‘Ferraris’, Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi, into play.
‘I don’t think you can ever prepare for it, because it’s going to be packed. It will be important for us to stay in the moment and not let that get to any of us. The difficult thing will be to communicate on the field, but I’m sure we will find something to fix that.’ – Herschel Jantjies on how South Africa will deal with the home crowd on Sunday.
‘There is a saying that dynamite comes in small packages. We all have something special we can contribute to our teams. Both Japanese wingers are playing phenomenal rugby, and that is what we have to do for our national teams.’ – Cheslin Kolbe on smaller players making headlines at RWC 2019.
‘For me we’ve already made our goal. No one expected us to make the top eight. We’ve already proved everyone wrong. No one will even look at us to win this game this week. So it’s another chance to prove people wrong.’ – Japan lock Uwe Helu on expectations from the Japanese public.
‘It’s an awesome achievement, something I’m very proud of and hopefully I’ve made my family proud. Every time I’ve played for England it’s been an honour, to do it 50 times is a great achievement.’ – Jonny May on achieving 50 Test caps for England.
‘Eddie relishes every game because he is very competitive by nature. The Australians on our staff have earned their places because they are very good at their jobs and we work together to support the players.’ – England forwards coach Steve Borthwick on the Australians on the England staff, and whether Eddie Jones enjoys games against Australia more.
‘I don’t think it matters either way really. A lot of these teams are world class and they have a world-class coaching and support staff behind them so they will have a plan for anything that comes their way.’ – Wallabies prop Scott Sio on England not having played for two weeks.
‘It’s common sense. You either turn up or you are going home. There is no other way about it. It’s plain and simple. Last time we played them in a World Cup in 2011 they turned us over in a semi-final in a very tight game.’ – Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins on Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final against France.
‘We’re all very focused on this match. We’ve had more time than expected to study our opponents and to work. I have the sense the group are determined and keen for Sunday to arrive. We’re in a good place.’ – France loose forward Gregory Alldritt on the camp’s state of mind before taking on Wales.
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