TOKYO, 22 Oct - A selection of the best quotes from Rugby World Cup 2019 as the build-up begins to this weekend's semi-finals.
“Tom (Curry) is an unbelievably special player. He works incredibly hard. Nothing seems to faze him. He's in this bubble. I’m sure he’ll go on to be one of the greatest back-rowers England have ever had.”
- Scrum-half Ben Youngs has been hugely impressed with his young England team-mate in Japan.
"I don’t know a 99 per cent AWJ, I only know a 100 per cent AWJ. It’s 100 per cent or nothing, plain and simple. He is exceptional at what he does, he is an incredible player, an incredible leader."
- Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins sings the praises of captain Alun Wyn Jones.
"I remember those six-man scrums on the England line and thinking, just before packing down, 'Queen and country' and if you are going to do it then it had better be now."
- England 2003 World Cup winner Phil Vickery, above, can now look back fondly on beating New Zealand in Wellington in June 2003 despite at one stage having two forwards, Neil Back and Lawrence Dallaglio, in the sin bin at the same time.
"Things would get a bit heated out on the lawn. It'd be, 'if you don't stop crying in three seconds, you won’t be all an All Black’.”
- Well, now he is. New Zealand centre Jack Goodhue recalls boyhood backyard rugby games with his twin brother Josh and other siblings Axel and Cameron.
"I was just thinking, 'please, please don't be a red'. I had been on for only 90 seconds and I was thinking to myself, 'if he gives me a red card, this is the end of me'."
- Wales flanker Ross Moriarty reveals he was mighty relieved to get only a yellow card for a high tackle on France centre Gael Fickou.
"It was completely random. Everyone was cracking up in the hotel but we were just sat there as if nothing had happened."
- Anthony Watson on bumping into Sonny Bill Williams in a Fiji hotel just weeks after the New Zealander was sent off for a high tackle on the England winger on the British & Irish Lions tour in 2017.
"Some things are really funny, and I enjoy some of the stuff. There is a lot of humour in it. Some guys get a bit personal – but people love the Springboks and are very invested in the team."
- South Africa scrum-half Faf de Klerk is the butt of a few jokes on social media but he can see the funny side.