“History has shown that what’s happened previously – good or bad – means nothing come kick off.”
– New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw reassures himself and fans that recent defeats by Australia and South Africa in the Tri Nations are irrelevant.
“You’d be a mug if you hadn’t learned in the four years since then.”
– McCaw, again, after being asked whether the All Blacks had learnt from their mistakes at RWC 2007.
“I’m under added pressure on Saturday night because my mum’s coming. She’s 82 and she knows the game. If the team doesn’t play well, she’ll be the first to give me a hard time.”
– Japan’s New Zealand coach John Kirwan on a surprise new addition to his RWC coaching staff for the opening Pool A game against France.
“It is a long wait and feels like the longest wait ever. It has been a long week and we are just trying to do our best every day.”
– Sunday’s Pool C showdown with Australia can’t come soon enough for Italy’s Fabio Semenzato.
“Just because it’s the World Cup, you don’t suddenly get better. You can only do what you can do, so all we can do is hone our accuracy.”
– Japan’s experienced wing Hirotoki Onozawa keeps his feet on the ground before Saturday’s game against France.
“Hopefully, we’ll carry the ball forward a lot, but we’ll have to keep it away from Dan Cole because he’s very greedy.”
– Maybe England prop Dan Cole won’t be getting too much ball from his teammate and new wing Delon Armitage in Saturday’s game against Argentina.
“There is a high number of people here who are Scottish descendants. I know it’s really pro-Kiwi here, but we are determined to make Scotland the second favourites of the tournament.”
– Team manager Dougie Potter gets swept away by the emotion of Scotland’s warm welcome in Invercargill on Thursday.
“Our main target is to clinch a victory in the first game against USA. After that match, we need to show more than 100 per cent of our potential to face the other competitors.”
– Russia’s scrum half Andrey Bykanov admits that his side’s best may not be enough in the RWC.
“It’s been brilliant so far, mother nature is shining on us and the grass is great and we’re just getting a kick from the kids. To have all these screaming kids here watching, it’s been a big buzz.”
– An invasion of schoolchildren at Canada’s Kerikeri training ground did not faze second row Brian Erichsen.
“I had some fish envy, for sure. I thought my effort was pretty good until then.”
– Scott Franklin on seeing his Canadian teammate Jebb Sinclair land a 2m shark on their fishing trip on Thursday.