Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
You are here: Home » Sporting Quotes
'The greatest thing that can happen to the state of Queensland and the nation of Australia would be if and when we get rid of the media. Then we would live in peace and tranquility - but no one would know anything!.'
From the Scottish rugby star of the 1920s; 'It doesn't matter in any game of rugby how many points the opposition scores, as long as we score more!'
'Young men have visions, old men have dreams.'
'Scientists now say there are two things you can see from outer space; the Great Wall of China and the holes in the Scottish rugby team's backline defence.'
When rugby teams still gather in a huddle at halfway after they have run onto the field usually someone in the team can be seen talking away. But really, once you're on the field there's actually nothing left to say. You just have to get on with it!"
When the new young golf star Jordan Spieth, in the 2014 Masters Golf tournament, had played fearlessly throughout, showing no nerves, Weekley said; "That kid ain't got no bills to pay, he ain't got no kids; When you're that young to him it's only all about the sport he's playing. You don't have to worry about nuthin' else!"
Seen regularly on Japanese supporters shirts in Australia during the 1987 Rugby World Cup; 'If you ain't got no guts, you don't get no glory!'
From the renowned American gonzo journalist Hunter S.Thompson: "Sportswriters are a rude and brainless subculture of fascist drunks,'
'The (bronze) medal I won is fine, but it is only a souvenir. It's what you learn from the Olympics that is most important.'
"It's 45 minutes after the game right now and I still don't want to take this jersey off. That's because I know that when I do it'll be for the last time..."
Brian O'Driscoll, the Irish and British Lions centre three-quarter - reacting philosophically for the media after his 140th, and last, game of international rugby, in Paris 16th March 2014.
(Before his 1984 Wallaby team played their last international heading towards winning a Grand Slam in Great Britain): 'In life there are four things which don't come back; a speeding arrow, the spoken word, time, and a neglected opportunity.'
'Of the five most useless things there are in the world; three of them would be the cheers we do for the ref at the end of any game!'
Spoken with his strong north of England accent; 'On the field you gives it, you takes it, and yer doon't fookin' groomble!'
When speaking about his time as an international rugby player: 'In my country (Belgium), if you sit beside the phone long enough, it will ring and you will be invited to play rugby for Belgium!'
'Time is of the essence,
The crowd and players
Are the same age always,
But the man in the stand,
Is older every season.'
40,000 fans welcome popular Manu Samoa onto Eden Park but NZ wins 35-13.
OLYMPIC GAMES RUGBY
The advent of the Rugby World Cup in 1987 seemed to silence the calls which had surfaced from time to time for the return of rugby union for the fifth time to the programme at the modern Olympic Games.
Three countries took part in the rugby competition at the Paris Games in 1900, France beating Germany, 27–17, in one match and Britain, 27–8, in the other. Most of the British team came from the Moseley club. Its loss to France may seem a surprising result, given the modest standard of French rugby at that time, but the British players had spent 24 hours traveling from London before match day and were reportedly exhausted. France was awarded the gold medal, Germany the silver and Great Britain the bronze.
At the fourth Olympic Games in 1908 in London, only two nations took part: Australia, which was touring Britain at the time, and Britain itself. The English county champion side of that season, Cornwall, was chosen to represent Britain. Australia won 32–3 at White City Stadium in London.
At Antwerp in 1920, at the first Games after World War I, the underdogs, the United States, won the gold medal, beating France in the final by 8–0. The French team had been the favourite to win, as five of the team had recently appeared in the Five Nations championship.
In both 1908 and 1920 only two teams had entered the games, but in 1924 in Paris a proper, if small, tournament took place. Most publications claim that France beat Romania 61–3 (although the French records say 59–3). The United States also beat Romania, by 37–0. In the final the United States met France.
The game was a classic, which the Americans won, 17–3. More than 30,000 French spectators watched in alarm as their team suffered such a humiliation at the hands of the Americans (many of whom had never played rugby before). As the end grew nearer and the result was inevitable, the Americans were jeered by the crowd and one visiting supporter was knocked out after being hit in the face with a walking stick. At the medal ceremony, the playing of the United States’ national anthem was drowned out by the booing and cat-calling of the crowd. Police protection was needed for the departure of the American team from the Stade Colombes.
Before the 1928 Games there was a vote by members of the International Olympic Committee over whether rugby should be included at Amsterdam. IOC members were inclined towards individual events rather than team sports, and there was also a demand for a greater opportunity for women to take part. There was a theory, too, that the British rugby-playing countries did not strongly endorse the sport’s continuation at the Games. One of rugby's greatest supporters on the IOC, Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France, had retired in 1925.
The vote was lost, and rugby never regained an official place at the Olympics. In the 1936 Summer Olympic games in Berlin, the so-called 'Hitler Games' rugby was included again, but as a 'Demonstration' sport. Four countries took part; Germany, Italy, France and Romania. France beat Romania 19-14 in the final.
In the years ahead a number of countries expressed support for the 15-aside version of rugby to return to the Olympic programme. There were especially strong attempts in 1980 (endorsed by the Soviet Union) and in 1988 (endorsed by South Korea) to have rugby re-admitted to the Games programme. Both attempts failed.
A significant moment for rugby next came in 1994 when the IRB was endorsed into the Olympic movement as a full sporting member.
In 2002 the International Rugby Board, encouraged perhaps by the presence of an ex-Belgian rugby international, Jacques Rogge, as the new IOC President, rugby tried again but this time with the idea of sevens rugby being included for the Beijing Summer Games of 2008.
This again failed, it was said that one factor being that women's teams were not included in the IRB planning. By 2009 with a World Cup for women having been (hurredly) put in place the passage for sevens to be included in the Rio de Janeiro Games of 2016 was made easier.
This happened in October 2009 in Copenhagen when the full IOC Congress endorsed the sevens version for both men and women. In fact the first appearance of sevens rugby will be at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August, 2014.
[Additional note; There is one player in Olympic rugby history who deserves special mention. He is Daniel Carroll, the speedy wing from Sydney, Australia, who was a gold medalist with the Australian team at London in 1908, and later settled in America. He played for the United States in the Olympics of 1920 and won a rugby gold medal for that country, becoming the first and only player to win two Olympic rugby gold medals. He was also coach of the 1924 United States team.]
Who captained the British and Irish Lions on tour to New Zealand in 1977?