Tony McKeever

Top 20 rugby quotes of the week

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1. John Mitchell: “I won’t let this deter my commitment or passion for the team. But I need to make sure that I am totally secure where I live. It is not at all nice waking up and having to defend your life.”

2. Peter de Villiers: “The guys have come back refreshed and hungry for rugby and have given us food for thought for our conditioning process now.”

3. Luke Watson: “So impressed with John Mitchell. His response to this attack has been courageous and brilliant! I wish him and the Lions all the best!”

4. Jonni Wilkinson: “I know that Martin Johnson [the England coach] was in the stands, but I didn’t feel it was up to me to impress them. He and his assistant [Brian Smith] were here to support me.”

5. Danny Cipriani: “Right now I’m not fitting into the coach’s plans and so I just want to make sure I can do the best I can and improve myself and make sure I get picked.

6. Victor Matfield: “You need to do, what you always do.”

7. Alistair Coetzee: “I said last week that the number on Jean’s back does not matter. He stays effective as a runner, decision-maker and leader.”

8. Frans Ludeke: “The Boks did indeed take a little while to settle in, but after half-an-hour you could see them getting into rhythm and the pattern.”

9. John Plumtree: “One moment of magic, or one big moment to capture the match.”

10. Naka Drotske: “We are positive about our win and we know that our match was perhaps not as physical as the other matches on the weekend, so I think we have an advantage in that we have an extra day to recover.”

11. Oregan Hoskins: “Recent speculation has obviously been unsettling for all three coaches … we need to stop all these rumours and put to bed all the speculation around the coach.”

12. Doc Craven: “We can change South Africa on the rugby field.” Note: This quote was repeated at Danie Craven’s centenary celebrations in Stellenbosch last week.

13. John O’Neil: “We haven’t beaten the All Blacks for some time but there’s an old saying in sport, ‘ding dong the witch is dead’. Hopefully on October 30 we’ll be able to say it loud and clear.”

14. Owen Nkumane: “Everybody used to laugh at me when I said I supported the Lions.”

15. Graham Henry: “Character, character, character. First, second and third … we were pretty rusty initially. When you have a break for a few weeks you get a bit of rust.”

16. Nick Mallett: “I’ve got a good Barbarians squad including Australian backs who have played together. Gavin Henson would make a fool of himself if he was way off the pace. Not having made a tackle or played a game for so long beforehand would be a disadvantage. It would be ideal if he has a couple of games first, but who with?”

17. Schalk Burger Jnr: “I have lost three semi-finals at Newlands. I was hoping that last year would be a lucky number three. It was close, but we could not make it.”

18. Richard Loe: “He just rubs people up the wrong way in a short space of time and, after he’d gone, one of the South African coaches there said to me in a thick Bok accent ‘You see, Richard, what we have to put up with?’ ”

19. India rugby captain Nasser Hussain: “In the past two or three years, the number of clubs has doubled … we’ve got close to 8 000 players, about 60 to 80 clubs. It’s not restricted to the metros any more, it’s gone rural.”

20. Usaia Biumaiwai: “We had to teach them what to eat, They must eat four meals a day. They are always asking how come I am so much bigger, why Fijians are bigger. I tell them it’s because of different diets.”

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