Great Rugby Quotes

December 23, 2013
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Some great quotes over the years. Let us know of any you have heard.

After an All-Blacks surprise loss to the French in the 1999 Rugby World Cup: “The French are predictably unpredictable.”
Andrew Mehrtens.

After biting Sean Fitzpatrick’s ear: “For an 18-month suspension, I feel I probably should have torn it off. Then at least I could say, ‘Look, I’ve returned to South Africa with the guy’s ear.’”
Johan le Roux

“If the game is run properly as a professional game, you do not need 57 old farts running rugby.”
Will Carling (1995)

“I’m still an amateur, of course, but I became rugby’s first millionaire five years ago.”
David Campese (1991)

“Every time I went to tackle him, Horrocks went one way, Taylor went the other, and all I got was the bloody hyphen.”
Nick England, On trying to stop Phil Horrocks-Taylor

“Don’t ask me about emotions in the Welsh dressing room. I’m someone who cries when he watches Little House on the Prairie.”
Robert Norster (1994)

“England’s coach Jack Powell, an immensely successful businessman, has the acerbic wit of Dorothy Parker and, according to most New Zealanders, a similar knowledge of rugby.”
Mark Reason Total Sport (1996)

Following Scotland’s accusations of French foul play: “If you can’t take a punch, you should play table tennis.”
Pierre Berbizier (1995)

On Wales losing 28-9 against Australia: “No leadership, no ideas. Not even enough imagination to thump someone in the line-up when the ref wasn’t looking.”
J.P.R. Williams (1984)

“The job of Welsh coach is like a minor part in a Quentin Tarantino film: you stagger on, you hallucinate, nobody seems to understand a word you say, you throw up, you get shot. Poor old Kevin Bowring has come up through the coaching structure so he knows what it takes … 15 more players than Wales have at present.”
Mark Reason Total Sport (1996)

***“The relationship between the Welsh and the English is based on trust and understanding. They don’t trust us and we don’t understand them.”
Dudley Wood (1986)

“We’ve lost seven of our last eight matches. Only team that we’ve beaten was Western Samoa. Good job we didn’t play the whole of Samoa.”
Gareth Davies (1989)

Before the New Zealand v England World Cup semi-final: “Remember that rugby is a team game; all 14 of you make sure you pass the ball to Jonah.”
Anon fax to N.Z. team (1995)

On Jonah Lomu: “I’ve seen a lot people like him, but they weren’t playing on the wing.”
Colin Meads (1995)

On Jonah Lomu: “There’s no doubt about it, he’s a big bastard.”
Gavin Hastings (1995)

“Colin Meads is the kind of player you expect to see emerging from a ruck with the remains of a jockstrap between his teeth.”
Tom O’Reilly

“In 1823, William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball in his arms and ran with it. And for the next 156 years forwards have been trying to work out why.”
Sir Tasker Watkins (1979)

“Rugby backs can be identified because they generally have clean jerseys and identifiable partings in their hair… come the revolution the backs will be the first to be lined up against the wall and shot for living parasitically off the work of others.”
Peter Fizsimmons

“I think you enjoy the game more if you don’t know the rules. Anyway, you’re on the same wavelength as the referees.”
Jonathan Davies, A Question of Sport BBC TV (1995)

“Rugby is played by men with odd shaped balls.”
Car bumper sticker

“You’ve got to get your first tackle in early, even if it’s late.”
Ray Graved

“You blindfold yourself and spin around for 10 times and then open your eyes and try to chase it down.”
Canada coach Ric Suggitt on preparing to play against Fiji’s expansive attacking style.


“If we have to play against New Zealand, I’ll explain it like this. To win, their 15 players have to have a diarrhoea and we will have to put snipers around the field shooting at them and then we have to play the best match of our lives.”
Argentina second row Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe on a potential match-up against the All Blacks (in hindsight, beating them wasn’t so hard).

“I’d like to thank the press from the heart of my bottom.”
Nick Easter after England silenced the doubters with their quarter-final win over Australia.

“He’s the sort of player whose brain doesn’t always know where his legs are carrying him.”
Nick Farr-Jones on Campese.

“Grandmother or tails, sir?”
To Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips, Gordonstoun School’s rugby captain, for his pre-match coin-toss preference from an anonymous rugby referee in 1995.

And now for a few quips from our friends in New Zealand:

“Nobody in Rugby should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.” Jono Gibbs – Chiefs

“I’m going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes.” Rodney So’ialo – Hurricanes on University

“You guys line up alphabetically by height.” and “You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle.” Colin Cooper – Hurricanes head coach

“I can’t really remember the names of the clubs that we went to.”
Chris Masoe (Hurricanes) on whether he had visited the Pyramids during his visit to Egypt 
“He’s a guy who gets up at six o’clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.” Colin Cooper on Paul Tito

It’s basically the same, just darker.” Kevin Senio ( Auckland ), on Night Rugby vs Day Games

“I told him, ‘Son, what is it with you. Is it ignorance or apathy?’ He said, ‘David, I don’t know and I don’t care.’
David Nucifora ( Auckland ) talking about Troy Flavell 

“I want to reach for 150 or 200 points this season, whichever comes first.”
David Holwell (Hurricanes) when asked about the upcoming season 

“Andy Ellis – the 21 year old, who turned 22 a few weeks ago” Murray Mexted

“Colin has done a bit of mental arithmetic with a calculator.”Ma’a Nonu

“He scored that try after only 22 seconds – totally against the run of play.”Murray Mexted

“We actually got the winning try three minutes from the end but then they scored.”Phil Waugh – Waratahs

“I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body.” Jerry Collins

“That kick was absolutely unique, except for the one before it which was identical.” Tony Brown

“I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.” Tana Umaga

“Sure there have been injuries and deaths in rugby – but none of them serious.” Doc Mayhew

“If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again.” Anton Oliver

“I would not say he (Rico Gear) is the best left winger in the Super 14, but there are none better.” Murray Mexted

“I never comment on referees and I’m not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat.” Ewan McKenzie

Murray Deaker: ”Have you ever thought of writing your autobiography?” Tana Umaga: ”On what?”

“Well, either side could win it, or it could be a draw.” Murray Mexted

“Strangely, in slow motion replay, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer.”Murray Mexted

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  1. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 7:41 am

    OU “Snor” had some great once as well

  2. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 8:55 am


    More than a few…

    The Mandela of rugby
    “I managed to unite more people in this country. I don’t want to bring Mandela in here, but I think I was the Mandela of rugby … I brought hope to people, to motivate them and encourage them to learn.”

    On being misunderstood
    “I don’t care if people don’t understand me. It’s not my duty to say directly to your face that you’re ugly, I say you aren’t pretty and if you can’t read between the lines then it’s not my problem. There’s no pill for stupid”

    On South Africans
    “We do understand going to the world that people don’t keep South Africans in high regard. They look down on us and think we’re a bunch of hooligans and that there are elephants running in the street. You can see it when referees make decisions … it’s always a kind of biased thing.”

    Reacting to news that there is an alleged sex tape of him:
    “I think I should walk away from this job and give it back to the whites.”

    On the Boks’ prospects at the 2011 World Cup:
    “In our group we are expecting tough games from Tonga and Fiji.” – Tonga are not in the Boks’ group.

    Following Schalk Burger’s banning during the Lions series:
    “If we want to eye-gouge any Lions we will go down to the bushveld like we do and eye- gouge them there.”

    “If we are going on like this, why don’t we go to the nearest ballet shop, get some tutus and get a dancing shop going? There will be no eye-gouging, no tackling, no nothing and we will enjoy it.”

    “I know dancing is also a contact sport but rugby is far from dancing. If you want to run with the big dogs then sometimes you have to lift your leg”

    “If I lie in hospital and I hear they are putting someone’s head back on that was ripped off by Schalk then I’d say: ‘That’s Schalk, he plays aggressive but he’s not malicious’”

    “What we try to tell them is when you point your finger into the sky, don’t concentrate on the finger because you’ll miss all the heavenly glory out there. Concentrate on the heavenly glory you can bring and make yourselves so fulfilled.”

    His philosophy on winning:
    “There’s little difference between winning and losing, except you feel better after winning.”

    Getting biblical:
    “The same people who threw their robes on the ground when Jesus rode on a donkey were the same people who crowned him and hit him with sticks, and were the same people who said afterwards how we shouldn’t have done that, he’s the son of God. So that’s exactly what we do. You have to look at history as repeating itself. And I’m not saying that I’m God.”

    Comparing Schalk Burger / Bakkies Botha to FW De Klerk / Nelson Mandela:
    “The small things like judicial hearings will not take away the fact that we won. Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk won the Nobel Peace Prize. No matter what they did wrong in their lives, no one can take away the fact that they won it.”

    When asked if he is the weakest link in the Bok setup:
    “If I’m the weakest link then we are bloody strong. I’m a God-given talent. I am the best I can ever be. I know what I am and I don’t give a damn.”

    Defending Ricky Januarie ahead of the second Lions Test, then not selecting him for the game:
    “What I learned in South Africa is, if you take your car to a garage and the owner is black or a black man, and they mess it up, you never go back to that garage. If the owner is white, you say ag, sorry, they made a mistake and you go back again. This is how some people live their lives in this country.”

    When asked why Morgan Newman was picked for the SA XV against Namibia:
    “Ja, you know. Morgan Newman has been in form his whole life.”

    When asked if he’ll change his style after a week of criticism:
    “I won’t change my style, if I change my style I will change Peter de Villiers, and then I would have to tell God that he made a mistake when he made me,”

    Ahead of a test against Wales:
    “We will give them a psychological advantage and we cannot allow that. We’ve read in the papers here that they believe South Africa are ripe for the picking. They’re comparing us with some fruit from a Welsh fruit farm but they need to know that when you pick fruit, it isn’t just apples and pears; there are prickly pears as well. We want to be a prickly pear for them this Saturday.”

    After the Boks’ second consecutive win over the All Blacks in the 2009 Trinations:
    “The way things are going right now, in a few year’s time these guys won’t need a coach”

    On the Boks’ gameplan:
    “We are very organised at the moment, we don’t want to become a fruit salad…”

    On referee bias:
    “Speaking to IRB referee’s boss Paddy O’ Brien is a complete waste of time. People don’t want to see other teams being successful. That is my biggest problem at the moment. We can’t go public about certain things because we don’t have all the evidence, but the body language of certain officials when things went against us in that game made us worry. The officials were so happy when decisions went against us on the day. I am talking about the number one rugby team in the world. Shouldn’t they really get the other guys to that level? Or do they want to break things down so that the game can become mediocre and everyone has a chance to win it. We don’t want to dwell on that point, but if that is the case, then I feel I am wasting my time by talking to them. I will then have to reconsider talking to them.”

    After criticising Hamilton as being boring:
    Reporter: “So Peter de Villiers did you find anything to do in Hamilton?”
    PDV: “Ja you know, we did find something to do. We won the Trinations in Hamilton.”

    Before the Newlands Test against the All Blacks which the Boks lost:
    “If you look at the Bible and see how Joseph got out of the pit and ended up in the palace, but between the pit and the palace there was a moerse lot of kak.”

    On South Africa’s victory over the All Blacks:
    “We went wild, wild, wild — some of the guys went wilder than that.”

    On journalists and the media:
    “I don’t care. I don’t take an interest in your job, but I’m glad you take an interest in mine.”

    De Villiers accuses the All Blacks of cheating:
    “I know the game. Technically, I’m very strong. When I said the All Blacks were cheaters in the first Test in Wellington, I picked up some of the technical stuff they did wrong in the scrums and how they played outside of the laws and how they used that to good effect. I also picked up that, instead of standing a metre apart in the line-outs, they stood a metre and a half apart so that we couldn’t compete; and anything outside of any law is cheating.”

    On matching the All Blacks:
    “I do not like to prepare guys to cheat and it seems to me to be the only way forward if you want to be on top of those kind of things, and that’s 70 per cent of our game.”

    On himself:
    “Ninety-five per cent of people all around the world are conventional people, they go with the crowd. They only do what other people do. They can’t be their own person. I’ve got a job to do. I think I’m a strong individual, a strong character. I don’t care what people think about me, I don’t care what people say about me. It’s what I think about me and myself – and I love myself a lot. It’s about me and my team and my country. If I’m respected in my team, I don’t care about what other people think.”

  3. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Great stuff I miss the shit he talked :)

  4. avatar Morne Nortier says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Pete is a legend

  5. avatar Aldo says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Have to love the hamilton quote. That was extremely witty! Got to give it to Snor, never a dull moment when he was coach.

  6. avatar Duiwel says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    He came out with some classics.
    Merry Christmas All
    God bless you all

  7. avatar Morne Nortier says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Selfde vir jou Duiwel

  8. avatar DavidS says:
    December 24th, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Merry Christmas and to all a good night

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