“Honesty is the best policy they say. The old stab in the belly and not in the back. That’s what we need.”
- Steve Thompson on England’s team meeting following the Georgia match.
“Some players were under the illusion that when we came here everyone in New Zealand wore All Black shirts and wouldn’t want to talk to us, but it’s completely the opposite. People stop to talk to us in the street.”
– England’s Tom Croft on his RWC 2011 experience.
“There’s always revenge. That’s the nice thing about this sport. We always have revenge.”
– Argentina wing Gonzalo Camacho plans a settling of accounts on Sunday with Scotland, who have beaten the Pumas the past three times the teams have met in South America.
“I think it will be a really tough game, perhaps our most important match in the past four years … and we expect to win of course … I expect they are going to have a bad day on Sunday.
- Argentina centre Marcelo Bosch also has words of warning for the Scots.
“It’s been great to come home for a bit. It’s really nice to come and let Christchurch feel like they’re a part of the World Cup. The people love their rugby here and it’s just nice that that World Cup buzz that’s going around the rest of the country has touched here a bit.”
- Andy Ellis, the New Zealand scrum half, wears his heart on his sleeve as the All Blacks train in his earthquake-stricken home town.
“I think we’ve gone through every neighbour around the pitch here and they’re all pretty keen Kiwis, All Blacks supporters, so I think we’re pretty safe.”
- New Zealand hooker Keven Mealamu had no worries about prying eyes as the team trained in Christchurch on Tuesday.
“I’ve learnt the lesson. Don’t tell the physios that you’re a little bit sore in the last four minutes of a half because you get whipped off. If I’m a bit sore or injured from now on I’m keeping it to myself.”
- Being substituted in the match against Japan was a valuable lesson for New Zealand wing Cory Jane.
“It’s been a lot more exciting than 2007. The minnows, with the way they’ve been playing, are showing that the IRB is doing something right in making the game a lot more successful in all countries. From a spectator point of view it’s been pretty great.”
– South Africa wing Bryan Habana is just one of the people enjoying Rugby World Cup 2011
“I thought they would save us a little bit because we are neighbours. I told my players to keep a little bit back specifically because we are neighbours. But if that is the case then we will go in hard too and we will be ruthless too.”
- Namibia coach Johan Diergaardt takes a neighbourly dig at South Africa’s captain John Smit, who says the Springboks will be ruthless when they play their fellow Africans on Thursday.
“You always have to put a smile on your face and tell yourself you’re doing this because it’s fun.”
- Eugene Jantjies, Namibia’s vice-captain, is not letting Thursday’s formidable opposition stop him from enjoying his rugby.
“I think sometimes the frustrating thing from an Irish point of view is that we’ve shown in the past that we have these performances in us. The big thing for us now is to show a bit more consistency. It can’t just be a one-off, that has to be the norm.”
- Hooker Rory Best wants Ireland to keep on playing the way they did in Saturday’s victory over Australia.
“It’s quite straightforward, really … We know we’ve got to get better.”
- Australia’s coaching co-ordinator David Nucifora wants the Wallabies to stop playing the way they did in Saturday’s loss to Ireland.
“I don’t know, mate. I’m just doing it because I’ve got nothing else to do.”
- Australia winger Digby Ioane, who can’t risk further damage to his broken thumb by taking part in normal training, on the benefits of doing simulated altitude training with the Wallaby forwards.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a battle, physicality. It’s going to be scrum, it’s going to be ruck, it’s going to be defence. If I was Isitolo Maka (Tonga’s coach), I would be saying slow the game down, scrum them. So we’re prepared for that.”
- John Kirwan, Japan’s coach, knows what to expect from Tonga in Whangarei on Wednesday.
“If we don’t win tomorrow, people will start to lose faith in what we do. I hope we can win and rewrite history in the process.”
- Japan’s scrum half Fumiaki Tanaka on the importance of the Brave Blossoms, who haven’t won a Rugby World Cup match for 20 years, beating Tonga on Wednesday.
“I would not say much. I don’t like to say too much to him to wind him up. Being the younger brother, I like to keep it quiet and humble.”
- Fiji wing Michael Tagicakibau promises he’ll be polite to his older brother, Sailosi, who plays for Samoa, when the teams meet at Eden Park on Sunday.