A selection of the best quotes from players, coaches and leaders after the completion of the pool stage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
‘Japan has proven to be the warmest, the best of Rugby World Cup hosts. We stand together with you in solidarity.’ – World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont’s message of sympathy to the people of Japan in the wake of typhoon Hagibis.
‘I’ve never had better support in my life than today. It was the best day of my life. They gave us something inside when we were in hard times. We just spoken within the leaders in the team and said we’ll have another chance to change history.’ – Japan scrumhalf Yutaka Nagare on the fans’ support during their game against Scotland.
‘First and foremost, credit to Japan because they held the ball really well in the first half and scored some good tries. Give away 28 points to a side like Japan and you are going to be struggling.’ – Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw after his team was eliminated from the World Cup by Japan.
‘The most extraordinary game of rugby.’ – Former Scotland centre Scott Hastings on their match against Japan.
‘I’ve never taken one before and I didn’t want to take it but they insisted and I certainly didn’t want to miss it because I would have become an online meme.’ – Tonga centre on his successful conversion against the USA, which came on his 34th birthday.
‘I was thinking, “What idiot made that decision?” But, what do you do? I’ve aged about 10 years in the last two months, so that’s nothing … I’m used to something like that.’ – Tonga coach Toutai Kefu on his players taking a scrum rather than kick at goal when they won a penalty in their game against the USA.
‘In Tonga it’s like this: number one is our faith, family, rugby and then comes food. That’s what we play for: our country. We’re just against the world really. Some of us don’t even get paid.’ – Fullback Telusa Veainu on what it means to play for Tonga.
‘They don’t come around too often for me, so I’ll make sure I gloat when I see a few lads later.’ – Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong reveals what he was thinking as he scored against Samoa on Saturday.
‘If we train hard, work hard, play well in the games, there’s no reason we can’t go all the way. That’s the belief the captain, Alun Wyn, and Warren Gatland have put in us, and it’s working so far.’ – No 8 Aaron Wainwright believes Wales are 240 hours away from something special.
‘How did I know that was going to come up? Mate, it still haunts me and the boys still give it to me.’ – Australia prop James Slipper on his intercepted pass in the 2015 RWC quarter-final against Scotland.
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