Final preparations ahead of the opening ceremony

“Not at all. It’s a Test match. You’re playing for your country. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

– Wallaby lock Dan Vickerman expected the great passion shown by Ireland – but no one asked about  Australia’s.

“I’ve been getting texts from back home. Limerick and Dublin are going crazy. It’s a real lift for the people back home.”
– Irish wing Keith Earls sums up the enormity of Ireland’s win over Australia.

“We were outplayed, that simple. It doesn’t really matter what elements you put it down to, we came here to play and to win and we came second.”
– Australia coach Robbie Deans (NZL) points out that second doesn’t cut it at a Rugby World Cup.

“People were talking about the European teams not being good enough to beat teams from the southern hemisphere. But to see England or France or Ireland beating teams from this part of the world is good for us. It is something that can help us and I think some people need to talk a lot less before the game has started.”
– Veteran Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni sticks up for his hemisphere.

“I was asked what do I want for my birthday and I said I wouldn’t mind beating Samoa.”
– Wales coach Warren Gatland (NZL) gets his birthday wish.

“We’re not treating anybody with disrespect, it’s not an Irish thing.”
– The Irish team is just doing their thing says backs coach Alan Gaffney (AUS).

“They were excellent. I’m not a connoisseur but they sounded bloody good to me.”
– Scotland’s utility back Chris Paterson was impressed with the pipe band during the team’s visit to Lower Hutt, north of Wellington.

“I don’t really like oysters. I had some whitebait, that was pretty good, but I reckon the team is eating my share anyway.”
– Tonga captain Finau Maka wasn’t all that enamoured with attending the Russell Oyster Festival but it seems his teammates were.