A selection of the best quotes from coaches and players at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on Wednesday.
‘He lives less than 100 metres from me and can be a nuisance sometimes.’ – Tonga fullback Telusa Veainu on coming up against his Leicester Tigers teammate Manu Tuilagi when they take on England on Sunday.
‘I’ve been trying a lot but I’ve had some bad teachers [his teammates]. They’ve been teaching me a lot of swear words.’ – Fiji hooker Samuel Matavesi – who was born and raised in England – on his attempts to learn his team’s language.
‘This is definitely my last. I’m really looking forward to it, though I’m 38 and had just about enough.’ – Japan lock Luke Thompson on his imminent retirement.
‘When you are injured, Eddie always stays in touch. It keeps that fire burning and it helps you through the tough days.’ – Manu Tuilagi says the support of England coach Eddie Jones was instrumental in his recovery from three career-threatening injuries.
‘It’s safe to say that’s the most people I’ve ever had watch me train. Or watch one of my club games.’ – Wales prop Rhys Carre was astonished by the massive crowd attendance during a training session in Japan.
‘Tokyo is going to be weird, a new culture shock. Personally, I can’t wait. Mount Fuji is really pretty but we are rather secluded. We are going to walk around Tokyo and I think it’s going to be a bit of slap in the face.’ – France loose forward Arthur Iturria hints it’s quite difficult to adapt to the Japanese culture and way of doing things.
‘We need to bring chaos into their organisation.’ – Russia captain Vasily Artemyev discloses his team’s strategy going into their game against hosts Japan on Friday.
‘Compared with 2015 in England, there will be maybe six minutes’ ball-in-play higher [in a match]. That’s a big ask for players and their conditioning. You won’t get fat props any more. You have to be lean and mean.’ – Namibia assistant coach Jaco Engels warns the front rowers they will have their work cut out in Japan.
‘I am so jealous of them. It would have been fabulous if Tonga had been given a match there, but I’m so happy for the people. They have obviously been through an awful lot and they are a rugby-mad town.’ – Tonga assistant coach Pita Alatini reflects on the fact that the Fiji vs Uruguay match will be played in Kamaishi, where more than 1,000 people were killed during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. At the time, Alatini was just seven kilometres away.