A selection of the best quotes from coaches and players at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on Thursday.
‘I’ve coached a lot of people, I’m passionate about rugby. But good grief, when I turned up here, these guys train in the early hours in the morning, then they go to work, they come home at night to do more training and then do their pool recovery in between, yet I haven’t heard one moan. If I’d done this in Wales, well, they’d just not turn up.’ – Namibia assistant coach Dale McIntosh on the Welwitschias players’ commitment.
‘I went to the arcade. You know the tipping point where you put the coins in? In Ireland you only put one coin in and it drops down to the bottom. Here you can put 15 coins in and they all come down. Jean Kleyn, who was next to me, actually got the jackpot.’ – Ireland’s CJ Stander reveals how he fellow South African-born Jean Kleyn are enjoying their downtime in Japan.
‘Everybody’s got their jobs to do. Sometimes I find myself at first receiver, and then I take over. Me and Handre (Pollard) have a good understanding – sometimes I’m at centre, sometimes I’m out on the wing. Sometimes I don’t know where I find myself, but I try to be everywhere all the time.’ – Springbok fullbackWillie le Roux talks about his various playing positions.
‘There would probably be more (tears), but I hope not. I need to tackle some big men and crying might come across as a sign of weakness.’ – Tonga No 8 Nasi Manu was emotional as he reflected on his tough road back to international rugby after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
‘I was having dinner with him the other night and one of the old games from the 2015 World Cup was up on the TV screen. I just sat back and said Sevu Reece, “We’re at a rugby World Cup”. Took a wee moment to think it’s pretty crazy that we’re here.’ – All Blacks wing George Bridge reveals the disbelief he feels about being at a World Cup along with fellow Crusaders teammate Sevu Reece.
‘Yeah, it’s very tough. We’re human and we’re fathers, we’re sons, we’re brothers. It can be tough being away but I think we’re well able to look after ourselves and have the craic (fun) as well.’ – Ireland wing Keith Earls on being away from his family during the RWC.
‘We’re used to the environment and everything is very easy, from food to free time, but it’s a bit too convenient. If it was overseas we’d face lots of inconveniences … I’m thinking about going out for tea together like we would overseas.’ – Hooker Shota Horie on Japan being the World Cup host nation.