Quotes of 2016

Date published: December 29 2016

Planet Rugby puts together the finest, funniest and most ridiculous remarks from rugby’s top names during 2016. How many can you recall?

Quotes of 2016

1. "They dressed us up as clowns today. They put our crest on it, so they wouldn’t want our comment, I don’t think they respect our comment, anyway, so we won’t make one."

2. "England will break you physically and mentally."

3. "My wife captained New Zealand woman’s football and has been to the Olympics and the World Cup, so she definitely takes the pedestal in our house."

4. "There are people who lead and lead inspirationally, and those who don’t."

5. "Any way one looks at this, you can’t help but be excited at the potential this appointment has. But Tietjens does not speak Samoan. You can have the greatest ideas in the world but if you can’t communicate it to people who do not speak your language, then you might as well talk to a toilet."

6. "If England set their sights on something less ambitious, say a team like Wales, bred to win Six Nations and not a lot else, they are probably luxuries that Jones can do without."

7. "I've made a huge mistake, a huge error in judgement."

8. "There was a lot a vitriol about Australia his home nation where he coached and opportunities were given to him to grow up as a coach and play."

9. "The lads were pumped up, there was a bit of moisture out there and I think you and Glen (Ella) had a good moment, looked lubed up and a fair bit of shrinkage … How did you enjoy that moment with your old mate Glen up in the box?"

10. "Nigel Owens should never referee a Test match again, that is disgraceful. He's behind the ball, he can run where he likes. It was a crucial decision that absolutely changed the course of this Test match."

11. "I’m quite happy to tell people that I am fat. Seb De Chaves is one that really needs to work on his body composition and Dom Barrow is another one who really needs to work on his gut."

12. "Amazing player, great individual rugby player and a great hooker."

13. "I would like to use overseas-based players, it’s been arranged already."

14. "I don't know if being born in a different part of the world makes you a better player. If they're not making their international teams, why would we be taking them? Is that an admission we're not as good as them? I'm sure it is. Would it affect me if there was a guy from another place getting picked ahead of me? I've been in that spot and it does piss you off."

15. "We were a powerhouse in world rugby and I feel it is my duty to say something on the record about the situation."

16. "It went wrong from just about the first moment White arrived at the club in January 2015 and made an ill-judged joke about Montauban. Then he fired a lot of French players, hired a lot of South African players and got them playing a style of rugby that bored Montpellerians to tears."

17. "I was approached a couple of weeks ago – and I was obviously flattered – but my priority now is Glasgow and at, the end of the season, Scotland are going on tour, so that’s the priority then."

18. "We have to evolve … I will make sure we keep what we’re good at. We’re renowned for our physicality. We have to be a bit smarter with where we want to use our physicality."

19. "If a Super Rugby franchise can’t happen, then transplanting a side into a domestic league in Europe – the PRO12 or the Premiership – would be the second option. Take a team of Fijian players, base them in Kent or Cornwall, and they would go. Look at somewhere like Cornwall. There isn’t a Premiership team and the islanders would love it there."

20. "He’s mad as a cut snake. He plays with a lot of energy, he’s emotional, he scores tries, he’s a real winner to me."

21. "The thing for me, this conference tonight seems to have been hijacked by something that's really got nothing to do with rugby, someone feeling a little aggrieved about things that you guys have done, making him be a clown." 

22. "It’s been a truly dreadful season."

23. "I wouldn’t suggest he becomes a bookmaker."

24. "He’s got that educated left foot kick – you can tell he’s been to public school."

25. "It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, whether you're black, you're white, you're tall, you're thin, you're fast, you're slow, whatever your sexual orientation is, whatever your religious beliefs are, that doesn't matter one bit."

26. "He can have the job if he wants it. Have you seen the schedule?"

27. "I don’t fear anything, to be honest… Collectively, we’ve got to understand that it’s not just one person that can take responsibility for that. If I’m solely held responsible for that, then I will walk away."

28. "That Nakawara is like the LeBron James of rugby, it’s quite incredible the amount of skill he has in his game."

29. "She thought my apology was false and she was right!"

30. "If you are not physical in rugby, you may as well be playing volleyball or curling."

The Answers:

1. Wallaby coach Michael Cheika saying the New Zealand media's depiction of him as a clown was disrespectful and the All Blacks wouldn't want his comment after they broke the record for most consecutive Test wins.

2. Eddie Jones warning Australia how they were going to break the Wallabies down ahead of their clash in December.

3. Dan Bowden saying his wife Hayley dominates the sporting achievements in his household.

4. Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett on Allister Coetzee's leadership qualities.

5. Former Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu on Sir Gordon Tietjens' appointment as Samoa's new Sevens head coach.

6. English rugby journalist Stuart Barnes taking a subtle jab at Wales while speaking of England's 2016 prospects ahead of the Six Nations.

7. All Black scrum-half Aaron Smith after being caught with a mystery lover in a public toilet.

8. Michael Cheika saying that Eddie Jones was disrespecting Australia ahead of the Wallabies versus England clash in December.

9. Australian journalist Stephen Hoiles asking Eddie Jones a racy question during the Australia versus England clash in June.

10. Rod Kafer speaking about Nigel Owen's decision to disallow an Australian try during the final Test of the Bledisloe Cup.

11. Leicester Tigers prop Fraser Balmain saying his peers should pack on the pounds and eat more.

12. Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss on Stephen Moore.

13. Allister Coetzee on whether he'll use internationally-based players.

14. Former Ireland winger Luke Fitzgerald speaking about allowing foreign nationals to play for Ireland after reports that Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was interested in New Zealand-born Bundee Aki, playing for Ireland.

15. Springbok number eight Duane Vermeulen lamenting how badly the Springboks did in 2016.

16. Gavin Mortimer while explaining that despite Jake White's successes at Montpellier he won't be missed.

17. Gregor Townsend after being approached to coach the British and Irish Lions in 2017.

18. Allister Coetzee on what his game-plan for the Springboks might look like ahead of his tenure.

19. Former Fiji coach Ben Ryan on how to save and improve Fijian rugby.

20. Eddie Jones on winger Chris Ashton after his selection in the elite player squad ahead of the Six Nations.

21. Steve Hansen on Michael Cheika after the Wallaby coach refused to give a comment on the All Black performance.

22. Former Springbok coach Nick Mallet describing the Springboks' 2016 run.

23. Ireland coach Joe Schmidt on Steve Hansen when the All Black coach said that the All Blacks were the underdogs during the two side's second clash in November.

24. Eddie Jones praising Elliot Daly's kicking performance against South Africa.

25. Referee Nigel Owens on the amount of acceptance in the game of rugby.

26. Lions coach Warren Gatland saying Irish coach Joe Schmidt is welcome to take over as the Lions coach considering how difficult the task is going to be.

27. Allister Coetzee saying that if SARU decide that the Springboks' poor performance rests on his shoulders he will leave his post as head coach of South Africa.

28. Eddie Jones speaking about Fijian player Leone Nakarawa.

29. Joe Schmidt joking about apologising to his New Zealand mother after his victory over the All Blacks in Chicago.

30. Jones expecting a physical Test against the Springboks in November.