TOKYO, 17 Oct - A selection of the best quotes from Rugby World Cup 2019 on Thursday.
"ROG has been awesome. He's still very hard to understand, so I take very little from our conversations, but he's very determined, very driven, and that gives me a little insight into what the Irish are like."
- All Blacks fly-half Richie Mo'unga on the informative, though scarcely intelligible, words of former Ireland international Ronan O'Gara, above, at Crusaders.
"We aren't playing for Japan because of money. We have a cause."
- Prop Keita Inagaki responds to a comment by coach Jamie Joseph that Japan players earn $100 a day in expenses at World Cup camp.
"If I’m honest with you, yes, I think we are the favourites. I’m not one of those coaches who sit here and say to you, ‘We are not really sure’, because we prepare to win."
- Rassie Erasmus exudes confidence that his South Africa team will beat Japan.
"I know all their weaknesses luckily and I will list them now for you. Manu Tuilagi is a terrible snooker player, George Ford never pays for a beer, Ben Youngs isn’t even the best rugby player in his family, let alone the country. The chicken, Jonny May, very weird and Dan Cole doesn’t have a personality."
- Australia back Matt To’omua shares his knowledge of his former Leicester team-mates.
"There’s a misconception that the All Blacks don’t kick as much as anyone else. They kick as much as anyone else – unfortunately they just kick really well, as a rule."
- Ireland coach Joe Schmidt lays one myth to rest.
"We normally have it once a week. We also had them under Sir John Kirwan but not when Eddie (Jones) was in charge. I don't think anyone could have smacked Eddie's head!"
- Fumiaki Tanaka explains Japan's extreme version of Rock-paper-scissors, involving a plastic mallet.
"There's not a lot I can do; I can't ride him, I can't carry him, I can't train him, so it's just a matter of sitting back and enjoying that for what it is."
- Not Retallick this time. Hansen confirms he will be watching when Nature Strip, the racehorse he part-owns, runs in the highly lucrative race, The Everest, in Sydney on Saturday – five hours before kick-off in Tokyo.
"You wouldn’t think he was picked, he was just loping around as per normal, so it’s going to be great. I trust him infinitely."
- Michael Cheika expresses complete faith in 19-year-old Jordan Petaia, who will play outside-centre against England.
"Coaching at Kobe was a great learning experience for me. I learnt how quick Japanese forwards are in snapping detail. You give them a clear plan and they work like hell to get that plan under their belt."
- Matthew Proudfoot, now assisting Erasmus, used to coach at Kobe Steelers.
"Cheik (Michael Cheika) has done a really good job. He's a good old mate of mine and there will be a bloke in the sky (the late Jeff Sayle, their coach at Randwick) who will be quite excited about Michael and I coaching against each other. I'm sure he's having a few beers next to St Peter now, looking at the situation.”
- England coach Eddie Jones reflects on facing former team-mate Michael Cheika, less than three weeks after the death of their mentor at Randwick Rugby Club.
"Mate, wake up, you’re dreaming."
- Sevu Reece, 22, on what he would have told anyone at the start of the year, when he was uncapped, if they'd said he would be playing in a World Cup quarter-final for the All Blacks.
"I had never made an omelette with chopsticks before, but once you can control the chopsticks the method is pretty similar."
- Andre Moore, the Wales team chef, never had to do this at Le Gavroche.
"A couple of hotels found it difficult getting poached eggs right. But I showed them and they cracked on."
- It’s the way chef Moore tells them.