A selection of the best quotes from coaches, players and leaders at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on Tuesday.
‘When I was small I thought it’d be the other way around but this is the way it panned out. [I’m] still a bit emotional hearing the South Africa anthem but proud to sing the Japanese national anthem.’ – South African-born Lappies Labuschagne on playing for Japan at the World Cup.
‘I do not know why Matthew would think that. He’s [Retallick] quite hard to hide from you guys, a six-foot nine-inch (2.05m) monster, so we haven’t been sneaking him in in training or anything like that. He’s progressing really strongly but I’m pretty sure he won’t be there on Saturday. But you never know.’ – All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster dismisses the Boks’ suggestion that the injured Brodie Retallick might play on Saturday.
‘When I could first dream.’ – Anton Lienert-Brown reveals when he initially felt the urge to become an All Black.
‘Tune in. There is something special in this group that I haven’t felt since being in this squad.’ – Lock Adam Coleman urges fans to back the Wallabies.
‘It’s the one which holds all your toes and bones together. It was a freak accident, to be honest. You more commonly get it when you are horse riding and you fall out of the stirrups.’ – Hooker Fraser Brown on Scotland’s World Cup opener against Ireland, his first game back since May after injury.
‘After 10 years of meticulous preparation the wait is over and the stage is set for what we believe will be a transformational tournament. Over the next six weeks, we will embrace the very best of rugby and the very best of Japan. Rugby mania is going to captivate this nation.’ – World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont on the first Rugby World Cup held on Japan.