Quotes of the day - Sunday, 27 October

Joy for South Africa as they join England in the final of Rugby World Cup 2019, but heartbreak for injury-stricken Wales and some more reflections on Saturday's epic first semi-final.

TOKYO, 27 Oct - A selection of the best quotes from Rugby World Cup 2019 on the second day of semi-finals weekend.

"We're great friends. It was just a nice moment between us - no, I'm just joking."
- South Africa's Faf de Klerk explains his relationship with Wales second-row Jake Ball, which became a little heated, above, during Sunday's semi-final.

"It’s a very special group. We’ve come a long way in the last two years. There have been a lot of new guys coming in. We’ve had 20 weeks of prep and now finally a World Cup final. It’s very exciting."
- Handre Pollard, the South Africa fly-half and Player of the Match in Sunday's semi-final win, relishes the squad's achievement to make the Rugby World Cup final.

"I might see the good side in 24 hours but I'm still hurting. I would have given up all my tries to make the final."
- Josh Adams, the leading try-scorer at the World Cup with six, but a beaten semi-finalist with Wales.

"England are the favourites, and on their performance (against New Zealand) they deserve to be." 
- South Africa's Lood de Jager gives an honest assessment of the semi-finals. 

"With a bit of luck and a bounce of the ball, things might have been a bit different. We can hold our heads high and leave Japan with a lot of respect."
- Wales coach Warren Gatland on his side's narrow defeat by South Africa.

"As a team, we all come from different backgrounds - different everything. To have so many people from South Africa come to support us, it really means a lot to us."
- South Africa captain Siya Kolisi reveals the team from the Rainbow Nation are more together than ever. 

"In my opinion, it was comfortably England's best performance of the professional era... a technical and tactical masterclass. Eddie Jones, take a bow." 
- Sir Ian McGeechan, former British and Irish Lions coach, puts England's semi-final win over New Zealand into perspective in Britain's Sunday Telegraph. 

"Their attitude was exemplified at the final whistle... there was no punching of the air, no hint they saw this as some sort of end goal, simply a recognition that they had navigated one important staging point on the road to their final destination. I loved that." 
- McGeechan again, impressed by England's reaction at the final whistle. 

"The nice thing was that some of their guys came into our shed and our coaching group went down to their shed and shared a beer. The game has moved on a heck of a lot from its traditions, but at the end of the day it is only a game. Sport can teach you a lot. It was nice to share a beer with them."
- More on what happened after Saturday's game, from New Zealand coach Steve Hansen.

"I appreciate the support we get from the country. Next year I'm going to be one of those people - a fan - wanting the All Blacks to win."
- New Zealand captain Kieran Read looks forward to a new role. He retires after RWC 2019. 

RNS bo/ns/ajr