“We were getting accused of talking ourselves up too much. Which one do you want?”
– Wales coach Warren Gatland responds to suggestions that his players lacked the self-belief to beat South Africa in their Pool D match last Sunday.
“I suppose it says that it (rugby) is being taken seriously. The deputy prime minister will add extra interest and Russia will be looking at this (saying), ‘This is serious’.
– Russia’s Welsh team director Kingsley Jones on the bonus of having the country’s deputy prime minister Alexander Zhukov attend Thursday’s showdown with USA at Taranaki Stadium.
“For us, the game is not a political question. For us, it’s just important to be here and take part at Rugby World Cup. For us, it’s just another chance to show who is stronger.”
– hooker Vladislav Korshunov tries his hardest to dismiss any political gain from winning their very first Rugby World Cup match against USA.
“The most important thing now is that we forget about Ireland. It was a great performance and the team deserves huge credit for the way they battled for 80 minutes. But if we’re looking in the rear-view mirror on Thursday night, we’re going to be crashing the car in a ditch somewhere.”
– USA’s Irish coach Eddie O’Sullivan is determined not to let his side dwell on their solid opening match against Ireland, which they lost 22-10.
“They’re tremendously talented. They’re great players at breaking teams down and they’re not a bad bunch to boot. So they’re fairly dislikeable.
– Ireland full back Geordan Murphy offers a frank view of Australia’s back line ahead of their Pool C clash on Saturday.
“There’s a belief in our back line that we’ve got some fantastic players and we can go toe-to-toe with anyone. In saying that, there’s no point in shooting my mouth off too soon, so we’ll see.”
– Murphy again, trying not to sound too cocky.
“We train like this in Fiji where you have to get the balls back from the kids, you know, delay training because the balls have been stolen. That’s what we’re used to.”
– Fiji fly half Nicky Little on how training can be tricky back home.
“I know we lost so it might come off as sour grapes, but I’m not happy about the result because we had a chance. JK (coach John Kirwan), the media, a lot of people have been giving us a pat on the back for our performance and I appreciate it. But the game still doesn’t sit well with me.”
– number 8 Itaru Taniguchi is not happy with Japan’s 47-21 defeat by France.
“He’s a freak. He created a pretty painful result for us a couple of years ago at Croke Park, scoring that try under the posts to draw the scoreline.”
– Wallaby winger Adam Ashley-Cooper on Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll.
“Taking on the All Blacks is a huge task. They’re No.1 in the world. We’re going to do it justice. We’ve got nothing to lose.”
– Japan centre Ryan Nicholas pumps himself up for Friday’s showdown with New Zealand.
“Did you see Sonny Bill Williams in the paper today? With his shirt off? Someone should take Chauncey’s photo, Chauncey’s the next Canadian Sonny Bill. Chauncey O’Toole, he’s got a twitter account and everything, he’s the one to watch. He (Williams) is way overrated, with those sleeve tatties? That was like, so 1995.”
– Canada centre Ryan Smith does his best to boost team-mate Chauncey O’Toole’s image and shatter All Black Sonny Bill Williams’ profile in the process.