Unlike football, rugby is not so much a game of egos, but rather a game of which hulking side can take the pain the longest and still keep scoring. With that in mind, it’s not really surprising that most rugby stars prefer to let their actions on the pitch do the talking. But despite all the knocks to the head, these often university educated players and coaches still come up with some verbal belters. Here’s our look at the 20 greatest rugby quotes of all time.
1. ‘Beer and Rugby are more or less synonymous.’
Chris Laidlaw ‘more or less’ pointing out the obvious.
2. ‘Rugby is great. The players don’t wear helmets or padding; they just beat the living daylights out of each other and then go for a beer. I love that.’
Former NFL star Joe Theismann talks about his admiration for Rugby’s, err… camaraderie?
3. ‘Strangely, in slow motion replay, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer.’
Kiwi commentator Murray Mexted had a brief misunderstanding of slow mo technology.
4. ‘Rugby is a good occasion for keeping thirty bullies far from the centre of the city.’
Oscar Wilde obviously wasn’t a fan then…
5. ‘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 proving that Rugby players have feelings too.
6. ‘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 didn’t hold back on A Question of Sport in 1995.
7. ‘You’ve got to get your first tackle in early, even if it’s late.’
Ray Graved’s tackling tactics were fairly simple.
8. ‘I didn’t have to play rugby that well, and I didn’t have to play cricket that well, because I had this voice.’
Tom Jones musing on his fortunes, could you imagine him as a scrum half?
9. ‘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 on the tenuous relationship between the home nations.
10. ‘The main difference between playing League and Union is that I now get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday.’
See? The difference between the two isn’t that much after all!
11. ‘Rugby is a hooligans game played by gentlemen.’
FWinston Churchill tells it how it is, ‘tru dat bro.’
12. ‘I thought I would have a quiet pint… and about 17 noisy ones.’
Gareth Chilcott on celebrating his last game of rugby for our home favourites, Bath.
13. ‘Grandmother or tails, sir?’
Referee to Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips, Gordonstoun School’s rugby captain, for his pre-match coin-toss preference in ’95.
14. ‘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 reveals Gloucester’s holy commandments.
15. ‘If you can’t take a punch, you should play table tennis.’
Pierre Berbizier following Scottish accusations of French foul play.
16. ‘Colin has done a bit of mental arithmetic with a calculator.’
Ma Nonu sums it up for us.
17. ‘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 on the virtues of the advantage law.
18. ‘The tactical difference between Association Football and Rugby with its varieties seems to be that in the former, the ball is the missile, in the latter, men are the missiles.’
Alfred E. Crawley caught onto the differences between footy and rugby pretty early on!
19. ‘Rugby may have many problems, but the gravest is undoubtedly that of the persistence of summer.’
Chris Laidlaw lamenting the gap between Rugby seasons.
20. ‘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 in 1979.
So there you have it, egg chasers having their say with the greatest 20 rugby quotes of all time.