Rugby Quotes

After John Jeffrey had ‘dropped and badly damaged’ the Calcutta Cup – It will now have to be called the Calcutta Shield.
Bob Munro (1988)

Following the infamous soccer kung-fu kick- Playing the French is like facing 15 Eric Cantonas. They are brilliant but brutal.
Brian Moore (1995)

I can’t even spell diet.
Gareth Edwards (1984)

I think you enjoy the game more if you don’t know the rules. Anyway, you’re on the same wavelength as the referees. Jonathan Davies,
A Question of Sport BBC TV (1995)

Give blood play rugby

In south west Lancashire, babes don’t toddle, they side-step. Queuing women talk of ‘nipping round the blindside’. Rugby league provides our cultural adrenalin. It’s a physical manifestation of our rules of life, comradeship, honest endeavour, and a staunch, often ponderous allegiance to fair play.
Colin Welland (1979)

On playing his last game of rugby for Bath -I thought I would have a quiet pint … and about 17 noisy ones.
Gareth Chilcott (1993)

On taking over as Batley chairman – Not many people in Batley speak Latin, so the first thing we did was change the motto.
Stephen Ball (1989)

Playing rugby at school I once fell on a loose ball and, through ignorance and fear, held on despite a fierce pummelling. After that it took me months to convince my team-mates I was a coward.
Peter Cook (1970)

Ray Gravell Eats Soft Centres.
Banner at Cardiff Arms Park (1970s)

Rugby is a game for the mentally deficient… That is why it was invented by the British. Who else but an Englishman could invent an oval ball?
Peter Pook Pook’s Love Nest

Rugby is played by men with odd shaped balls.
Car bumper sticker


The advantage law is the best law in rugby, because it lets you ignore all the others for the good of the game.
Derek Robinson

The first half is invariably much longer than the second. This is partly because of the late kick-off but is also caused by the unfitness of the referee.
Michael Green The Art of Coarse Rugby (1960)

There is far too much talk about good ball and bad ball. In my opinion, good ball is when you have possession and bad ball is when the opposition have it.
Dick Jeeps (1976)

To Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips, Gordonstoun School’s rugby captain, for his pre-match coin-toss preference -Grandmother or tails, sir?
Anon rugby referee (1995)

You’ve got to get your first tackle in early, even if it’s late.
Ray Gravell

After JPR Williams was involved in a road traffic accident – Bloody typical, isn’t it! The car’s a write-off. The tanker’s a write-off. But JPR comes out of it all in one piece.
Gareth Edwards (1978)

Bob Hillier had the hair of a city slicker and the hoofing toecap of a Tunisian mule.
Frank Keating
If I had been a winger, I might have been daydreaming and thinking about how to keep my kit clean for next week.
Bill Beaumont

Martin Offiah: Your hands can’t catch what your eyes can’t see.
Nike rugby boot advert (1993)

On his successors in the Oxford University backs – I’ve seen better centres in a box of Black Magic.
JoeMcPartlin

Peter Sterling: If Walt Disney had seen this little man’s antics, there’d have been no Mickey Mouse.
Ray French, BBC TV (1985)

Rory Underwood: The gentleman athlete and flightmeister.
Punch

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.
Peter Fizsimmons

Rugby players are either piano shifters or piano movers. Fortunately, I am one of those who can play a tune.
Pierre Danos

Simon Geoghegan: The winger resembles Mother Brown, running with a high knee-lift and sometimes not progressing far from the spot where he started.
Mark Reason Total Sport (1996)

These days you have to be able to concentrate for an hour non-stop, you’re drenched in perspiration – and that’s just Panorama.
Will Carting in a motivational business speech (1995)

A forward’s usefulness to his side varies as to the square of his distance from the ball.
Clarrie Gibbons

Colin Meads is the kind of player you expect to see emerging from a ruck with the remains of a jockstrap between his teeth.
Tom O’Reilly

Condom Is Back In French Pack.
Independent headline

Dean Richards is nicknamed Warren, as in warren ugly bastard.
Jason Leonard (1995)

Forwards are the gnarled and scarred creatures who have a propensity for running into and bleeding all over each other.
Peter Fitzsimmons

I don’t know why prop forwards play rugby.
Lionel Weston (1974)

In 1823, William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball in his arms and ran with it. And for the next 156 years forwards have been trying to work out why.
Sir Tasker Watkins (1979)

On the Munsterpack- Mothers keep their photo on the mantelpiece to stop the kids going too near the fire.
Jim Noilly, BBC TV (1995)

The Holy Writ of Gloucester Rugby Club demands: first, that the forwards shall win the ball; second, that the forwards shall keep the ball; and third, the backs shall buy the beer.
Doug Ibbotson

The one-handed palmer can always reach higher, they say. They may be right, but the result is that nearly every line-out is like a tropical island – all waving palms.
Vivian Jenkins

Wade Dooley: With a handle like that he sounds more like a western sheriff than the Lancashire bobby that he is.
Norman Mair The Scotsman (1988)

After a succession of career-threatening injuries -1 played ten injury-free years between the ages of 12 and 22. Then, suddenly, it seemed like I was allergic to the twentieth century.
Nigel Melville (1984)

In my time, I’ve had my knee out, broken my collarbone, had my nose smashed, a rib broken, lost a few teeth, and ricked my back; but as soon as I get a bit of bad luck I’m going to quit the game.
J. W. Robinson

New Zealand rugby is a colourful game since you get all black … and blue.
Anon

Old soldiers do not fade away from the Irish team. They make comebacks.
Anon Dublin sportswriter

On his multi-player injury substitutions against Western Samoa – It was like the Falklands crisis. I was counting them in and counting them out.
Jack Rowell (1995)

After biting Sean Fitzpatrick’s ear- 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 (1994)

As Erica Roe streaked at Twickenham -Bill, there’s a guy just run on the park with your backside on his chest.
Steve Smith (1982)

I may not have been very tall or very athletic, but the one thing I did have was the most effective backside in world rugby.
Jim Glennon (1991)

I prefer rugby to soccer. I enjoy the violence in rugby, except when they start biting each other’s ears off.
Elizabeth Taylor (1972)

I think Brian Moore’s gnashers are the kind you get from a DIY shop and hammer in yourself. He is the only player we have who looks like a French forward.
Paul Randall (1994)

If the game is run properly as a professional game, you do not need 57 old farts running rugby.
Will Carling (1995)

I’m still an amateur, of course, but I became rugby’s first millionaire five years ago.
David Campese (1991)

On England’s new rubber training suit-As you run around Battersea Park in them, looking like a cross between a member of the SAS and Blake’s Seven, there is always the lingering fear of arrest.
Brian Moore (1995)

On female rugby teams – Everybody thinks we should have moustaches and hairy arses, but in fact you could put us all on the cover of Vogue.
Helen Kirk (1987)

On trying to stop Phil Horrocks-Taylor-Every time I went to tackle him, Horrocks went one way, Taylor went the other, and all I got was the bloody hyphen.
Nick England

Rugby football is a game I can’t claim absolutely to understand in all its niceties, if you know what I mean. I can follow the broad, general principles, of course. I mean to say, I know that the main scheme is to work the ball down the field somehow and deposit it over the line at the other end and that, in order to squalch this programme, each side is allowed to put in a certain amount of assault and battery and do things to its fellow man which, if done elsewhere, would result in 14 days without the option, coupled with some strong remarks from the Bench.
P. G. Wodehouse Very Good, Jeeves (1930)

The lads say my bum is the equivalent of one ‘Erica’.
Bill Beaumont

Before the New Zealand v England World Cup semi-final- Remember that rugby is a team game; all 14 of you make sure you pass the ball to Jonah.
Anon fax to N.Z. team (1995)

Me? As England’s answer to Jonah Lomu? Joanna Lumley, more likely.
Damian Hopley (1995)

On Jonah Lomu – I’ve seen a lot people like him, but they weren’t playing on the wing.
Colin Meads (1995)

On Jonah Lomu – The Brent Spar with attitude. A figure who inspires hero worship among even those who think a fly-half is a glass of beer consumed when ‘er indoors is looking the other way.
Robert Philip Daily Telegraph (1995)

On Jonah Lomu – There’s no doubt about it, he’s a big bastard.
Gavin Hastings (1995)

On Lomu finally turning down offers from League teams – Jonah Lomu is staying in New Zealand, ending an is-he-or-isn’t-he saga which rivalled the trial of OJ. Simpson for unnecessarily protracted tedium.
Paul Wilson The Observer (1995)

A bomb under the West car park at Twickenham on an international day would end fascism in England for a generation.
Philip Toynbee

A major rugby tour by the British Isles to New Zealand is a cross between a medieval crusade and a prep school outing.
John Hopkins

After England had been humbled by New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final – I don’t know about us not having a Plan B when things went wrong, we looked like we didn’t have a Plan A.
Geoff Cooke (1995)

Don’t ask me about emotions in the Welsh dressing room. I’m someone who cries when he watches Little House on the Prairie.
Robert Norster (1994)

England’s coach Jack Powell, an immensely successful businessman, has the acerbic wit of Dorothy Parker and, according to most New Zealanders, a similar knowledge of rugby.
Mark Reason Total Sport (1996)

Following Scotland’s accusations of French foul play- If you can’t take a punch, you should play table tennis.
Pierre Berbizier (1995)

Most Misleading Campaign of 1991: England’s rugby World Cup squad, who promoted a scheme called ‘Run with the Ball’. Not, unfortunately, among themselves.
Time Out (1991)

On England’s new look against Australia – This looks a good team on paper, let’s see how it looks on grass.
Nigel Mellville (1984)

On his son Huw’s choice to play for England- I knew he would never play for Wales … he’s tone deaf.
Vemon Davies (1981)

On playing for Wales at Lansdowne Road, Dublin – I didn’t know what was going on at the start in the swirling wind. The flags were all pointing in different directions and I thought the Irish had starched them just to fool us.
Mike Watkins (1984)

On Wales losing 28-9 against Australia -No leadership, no ideas. Not even enough imagination to thump someone in the line-up when the ref wasn’t looking.
J.P.R. Williams (1984)

Pre-game pep talk before facing England – Look what these bastards have done to Wales. They’ve taken our coal, our water, our steel. They buy our houses and they only live in them for a fortnight every 12 months. What have they given us? Absolutely nothing. We’ve been exploited, raped, controlled and punished by the English – and that’s who you are playing this afternoon.
Phil Bennett (1977)

Rugby is not like tea, which is good only in England, with English water and English milk. On the contrary, rugby would be better, frankly, if it were made in a Twickenham pot and warmed up in a Pyrenean cauldron.
Dennis LaLanne (1960)

Rugby is picking the ball from the back of the scrum in 1974 and scoring a try against Wales at Twickenham and realising ‘I sort of hit it and it was in the back of the net, Brian’ is fairly appropriate.
Andy Ripley

The French selectors never do anything by halves; for the first international of the season against Ireland they dropped half the three-quarter line.
Nigel Starmer-Smith, BBC TV (1974)

The job of Welsh coach is like a minor part in a Quentin Tarantino film: you stagger on, you hallucinate, nobody seems to understand a word you say, you throw up, you get shot. Poor old Kevin Bowring has come up through the coaching structure so he knows what it takes … 15 more players than Wales have at present.
Mark Reason Total Sport (1996)

The only hope for the England rugby union team is to play it all for laughs. It would pack them in if the public address system at Twickenham was turned up full blast to record the laughs at every inept bit of passing, kicking or tackling. The nation would be in fits … and on telly the BBC would not need a commentator but just a tape of that Laughing Policeman, turning it loud at the most hilarious bits.
Jim Rivers, letter to The Guardian (1979)

The relationship between the Welsh and the English is based on trust and understanding. They don’t trust us and we don’t understand them.
Dudley Wood (1986)

Tony Ward is the most important rugby player in Ireland. His legs are far more important to his country than even those of Marlene Dietrich were to the film industry. A little hairier, maybe, but a pair of absolute winners.
C.M.H. Gibson, Wales v Ireland match programme (1979)

We’ve lost seven of our last eight matches. Only team that we’ve beaten was Western Samoa. Good job we didn’t play the whole of Samoa.
Gareth Davies (1989)