A selection of the best quotes from players and coaches at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on Tuesday.
‘An old lady came into the hotel and dropped off some stuff for me and my little daughter, too – some stickers and a birthday card.’ – New Zealand flank Ardie Savea raves about Japanese hospitality after receiving a gift for his birthday.
‘We didn’t focus much on the way England are going to play, we focused more on what we are going to do to stop them and what we can work on to combat what they are going to bring.’ – Wing Marika Koroibete on the Wallabies’ preparation for the quarter-final.
“You –the journalist – sound like a coach, you are giving us a new game plan.’ – Bok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick when quizzed on how Japan would cope with South Africa’s kicking game.
‘Jamie Joseph [Japan coach] compared their two wings to Ferrari cars, so we have to not allow those Ferraris to go to fifth gear or sixth gear.’ – Stick on dealing with Japan wings Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima.
‘I’ve been savouring the competition since the start. I haven’t thought this quarter-final [against Wales] could be the last. That’s a good sign, you might say…’ – France No 8 Louis Picamoles wants to delay his retirement by at least one game.
‘Alun Wyn Jones is a great captain and he speaks very well. I’m sure he will mention the fact it could be Gats’ [coach Warren Gatland] last game. Hopefully, it’s not.’ – Wales scrumhalf Gareth Davies continues on the theme of not bowing out in the quarter-finals this weekend.
‘We just got beat by a good Irish team. That was a different time, a different place. Is it relevant? We learned some stuff, they would have learned some stuff.’ – All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster reckons their loss to Ireland last year is irrelevant.
‘I don’t look back on any of them, they’re gone for me now and none of them have been at a World Cup, so they don’t matter an awful lot.’ – Ireland prop Cian Healy agrees that previous encounters with the All Blacks won’t matter this weekend.
‘We’ve talked about it … reset our strategies so that when we start to act like idiots … to panic for no reason, we can start off again on the front foot and not make ourselves afraid until the end of the match.’ – France fullback Sofiane Guitoune addresses Les Bleus’ tendency to self-destruct in big games.
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