These are arguably some of the greatest one-liners in rugby history. Which cheeky one-liners in rugby folklore would you add to this list?
According to a Ruck.co.uk compilation of the wittiest one-liners in rugby, this list – consisting of the likes of Englishman Martin Johnson, Wallabies great George Gregan and veteran ref Nigel Owens among others – contains the best of the best.
1. Martin Johnson
England were able to survive a defensive scrum on their own five-metre line against the All Blacks in 2003 despite being down six men after Neil Back and Lawrence Dallaglio were sin-binned.
What followed was not just one scrum but a sequence of four, and a penalty conceded by England. New Zealand No 8 Rodney So’oialo tapped and ran from short range but was denied and penalised for a double movement. England had resisted the irresistible.
Johnson was asked after game, “What went through your head during that scrum?”. He answered: “Nearly my spine”.
2. Nigel Owens at his best
Nigel Owens is openly gay and campaigns against bullying, but that does not mean he’s above being self-deprecating. During a dodgy Harlequins lineout he told the hooker, in a roundabout way, he best get his throws together.
“I’m straighter than that one.”
3. JPR Williams
Williams’ reaction after Wales lost a Test was akin to how most fans feel after their team takes a beating.
“No leadership, no ideas. Not even enough imagination to thump someone in the lineup when the ref wasn’t looking.”
4. Anonymous fax
Legend has it that the All Blacks received an anonymous fax before the 1995 World Cup semi-final, urging the team to use one specific tactic.
“Remember that rugby is a team game, all 14 of you make sure you pass the ball to Jonah.”
5. Paul Rendall
The former England prop Paul Rendall used a few choice words when he described his front-row colleague Brian Moore.
“I think Brian Moore’s gnashers are the kind you get from a DIY shop and hammer in yourself. He is the only player we have who looks like a French forward.”
6. George Gregan
Despite their favourites tag at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks crashed out of the tournament following a 22-10 defeat by the Wallabies. The bitter result was their third semi-final defeat in five World Cups.
On the final whistle, Australia captain George Gregan twisted the knife with a mocking taunt.
“Four more years, boys. Four more years.”
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