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From the scrum: 12 notable rugby quotes

With the Rugby World Cup soon to kick off in Japan, we thought it was the perfect time to reflect on what some of the big names have had to say about the great game over the years. Here are a dozen of our favourite rugby quotes.


“You can go to the end of time, the last World Cup in the history of mankind, and the All Blacks will be favourites for it.”
Wallaby Phil Kearns


“Rugby is a good occasion for keeping thirty bullies far from the centre of the city.”
Oscar Wilde

rugby union line out, rugby union international season
Flying high… dominating the line-out


“Remember that rugby is a team game; so, all 14 of you make sure you pass the ball to Jonah.”
– Anonymous fax sent to the New Zealand team prior to their World Cup semi-final against England in 1995; Jonah Lomu scored four tries


“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 on biting Sean Fitzpatrick’s ear


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


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


“Me? As England’s answer to Jonah Lomu? Joanna Lumley, more likely.”
London Wasps and England player Damian Hopley in 1995

rugby union ruck, rugby union international season
Pushing forward in the ruck


“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.”
Wallaby Peter FitzSimons


“I thought I would have a quiet pint… and about 17 noisy ones.”
Gareth Chilcott on playing his last game of rugby for Bath in 1993


“We’ve lost seven of our last eight matches; the only team that we’ve beaten is Western Samoa. Good job we didn’t play the whole of Samoa.”
Welsh rugby star Gareth Davies in 1989


“Grandmother or tails, sir?”
– Anonymous referee speaking at the pre-match coin toss to Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips, the captain of Gordonstoun School’s rugby side


“One of the stories that inspires me is that it is documented that a honey badger killed a lion in a one-on-one. What happened was that he clawed the canastas off the big fella. He just went one-two on the ball bag, and the big fella has walked around the corner and fell over… That, to me, is outstanding.”
Wallaby Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins

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