“A couple of windows were broken when we first started.”
– Second row Bradley Davies (WAL) reveals not all the players who have joined the team choir share the Welsh’s renowned talent for singing.
“It’s the World Cup. You don’t want to come here and have it be easy. It should be like this and I’m pleased.”
– Japan coach John Kirwan (NZL) reveals a masochistic streak as he looks forward to Pool A matches with New Zealand and France .
“A guy in New Zealand worked it out, that there is some connection to Charles Monro and called me about it. I only found out about this three or four months ago, but nothing has changed for me.”
– Fly half Ander Monro (CAN) insists he has no conflict of loyalties despite discovering a family link to Charles Monro, the founding father of New Zealand rugby.
“Apparently she’s a distant relative, I’m not really sure. I suppose I won’t be able to say I’m the best rugby player in the family any more.
– Ander Monro on another familial connection, to Dan Carter’s (NZL) fiancee Honor Dillon.
”I play every night, my fingers are burning now.”
– France centre Fabrice Estebanez suffers for his art as a guitarist.
“We love to hate each other on the sporting field but we’re brothers in arms.”
– Auckland mayor Les Brown on the sibling rivalry between Australia and New Zealand.
”It’s our most important match (against USA) as we can become the first debut team ever to win its first match at the Rugby World Cup. We want to seize this unique opportunity and to make this dream come true.”
– Russia plan to leave an indelible mark on their first RWC, says No.8 Vyacheslav Grachev.
“It feels pretty similar (to 2007), the same vibe amongst the team. The guys are excited and have got that quiet belief deep inside of going all the way – just like we did in 2007.”
– The quiet confidence of fly half Butch James could spell trouble for South Africa’s rivals.
“Emotionally, it’s better than playing against each other – he wouldn’t speak to me for a week if I beat him.”
– Phil Mackenzie (CAN) is glad his brother Jamie is also lining up in the Canucks’ colours.
“I’ll worry about contracts and the professional stuff after the World Cup, but I’d play anywhere. I love to play the sport and I’d take any opportunity that came my way.”
– USA full back Blaine Scully hopes a good showing in this tournament might help him land a professional contract.
“I’ll play wherever gives me the best financial deal.”
– Scully’s Eagles teammate, flanker Pat Danahy, is a touch more pragmatic.
“If we were in the World Cup and we were panicking about going into a game without someone, we’d feel like we were in a bad place.”
– England manager Martin Johnson is phlegmatic about injury ruling captain Lewis Moody out of the first game.
“We’ve spoken specifically about our discipline and I know that we won’t be as bad as we have been in the past.”
– Tonga flanker Nili Latu‘s insistence that his team have turned over a new leaf falls short of a guarantee of perfect behaviour.