“I think you always take confidence from a win but we’ve been really conscious of not looking too far ahead. That’s the challenge, I think, for the whole tournament, just to take one match at a time. It’s such a cliche but you can really fall into dangerous territory if you entertain thoughts of anything greater than what you have to do in the next match.”
- Australia’s Luke Burgess is the epitome of diplomacy when asked about the effect of the Wallabies’ recent win over New Zealand
“We’ve got a decent set of forwards. It’s up to us to see how we balance the warrior and artistry – we’re working hard on that, but we’ll not be short of the warrior, that’s for sure.”
- Georgia’s Scottish-born coach Richie Dixon promises a good old-fashioned battle for the Scots.
“I’ve watched him play. Some of the things I do, they say it’s like Jonah. It’s just how I play on the field.”
- Fiji wing Napoilioni Nalaga enjoys the comparisons to New Zealand great Jonah Lomu. In fact…
“Yeah. I can do better.”
“Everyone knows what he can do. He’s a megastar and a rock star and a great athlete. If he can do his magic, hopefully I can run off him.”
– Ma’a Nonu (NZL) hopes his midfield pairing with Sonny Bill Williams will bring alchemy to the All Blacks’ attack.
“The Kelston Boys Sports Institute training clashed with music class, and he gave me the nod to go with the sports side, because I quite liked my music as well.”
- Andrew Suniula (USA) remembers his days at Auckland’s Kelston Boys High when New Zealand coach Graham Henry was headmaster.
“I think 1 to 22 are the key players for France.”
Japan’s forwards coach Mick Byrne (AUS) refuses to single out any one French player as a danger man.
“I don’t know. You’d have to ask him. From my point of view there’s not. It’s just a matter of he’s wearing a different jersey. I’ve got 14 other blokes on the field who have my back, he’s got 14 other blokes on his team who are really looking to dominate us as well.”
- Quade Cooper (AUS) plays down suggestions of a feud between him and New Zealand captain Richie McCaw…sort of.
“It’s just another game now. The first time against Australia in Australia was special when I was listening to the national anthem and not able to sing along. Now, it’s just 15 versus 15 on the footy field.
- Italy’s Australian-born full back Luke McLean will be making no concessions to his home country in the countries’ opening Pool C match.
“The names were called out in alphabetical order and my name was mixed up with Jonny Sexton’s, so I was after his, and for a second there I was checking the old alphabet.”
– Donnacha Ryan (IRE) refects on an anxious moment at the squad announcement.
“The food is good. To be honest, I was expecting worse, not because New Zealand food is bad, but because I wasn’t used to it. I’ve been very surprised by the pasta, it’s very tasty.”
- Gonzalo Canale (ITA) finds New Zealand is very much to his taste.