Quotes of the Year
Biscuits, golf buggies and the voice of rugby - the year in quotes
December 24, 2010
Try the canapés. Very good. Very good. © Getty Images
Another year as drawing to a close and as ever, we've seen plenty of ups and downs in the world of rugby. Luckily our Quote Unquote feature allowed us to document what the great and good thought of referees, the game's officials and, more often than not in the case of the players, Nando's and KFC.
So, put down the turkey sandwich, step away from the '100 best tries' DVD that gran bought you and take in our review of the year's best quotes.
Brendan, you will be missed.
"Everybody wants to know why the game is dying. Maybe that is why the game is dying."
Saracens coach Brendan Venter vents his spleen over the performance of referee David Rose in his side's Premiership loss to Leicester. January, 2, 2010
"When I said that I believed he had been influenced I did not intend that to mean that he was improperly influenced."
Venter subsequently explains himself during his RFU disciplinary hearing. January 20, 2010
"Why did the RFU provide biscuits if they were not to be eaten?"
The war of words between the RFU and Saracens takes a bizarre twist with the club's chief executive Edward Griffiths calling foul over the written judgement into Venter's season ending touchline ban by disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett. May 20, 2010
"If we don't take action going into a World Cup year, the game of rugby is going to die."
Venter is annoyed by the lack of consistency from the officials following his side's Heineken Cup loss to Leinster at Wembley. October 16, 2010
Three cheers for Sireli Bobo.
Coming soon to a T-shirt near you - our favourite line from Venter's now infamous post-match interview. December 11, 2010
"You will never know how many people Bill brought to the game by the way he commentated."
Sir Ian McGeechan pays tribute to legendary commentator Bill McLaren following his death aged 86. January 19, 2010
"They say you should never meet your heroes. And they may be right. Unless your hero was Moss Keane."
Former Munster and Ireland star Mick Galwey pays tribute at the funeral of former Ireland and Lions lock Moss Keane. October 7, 2010
"When the history of rugby union in England is written then Tom's name will be to the fore."
RFU chairman Martyn Thomas reflects on the death of Gloucester chairman Tom Walkinshaw. December 13, 2010
"When we celebrated Eric's 99th birthday with him in December last year, it was a wonderful occasion that allowed us to thank Eric for his outstanding contribution to New Zealand sport."
NZRU chief Steve Tew laments the loss of unique All Black Eric Tindill. August 1, 2010
The joy of six
"I've done stupid things before when I've had too many sherbets but nothing like this."
Wales' Andy Powell regrets the "stupid prank" (driving a golf buggy along the M4) that led to Wales dropping him from their Six Nations squad. February 23, 2010
"Obviously we want to win all our games by as big a margin as we can, but we did some fantastic stuff."
No, no you didn't. England skipper Steve Borthwick takes a flight of fancy following a dire win over Italy, February 14, 2010
"It is a very nice baby even if the birth was quite difficult."
France coach March Lievremont reflects on his side's Six Nations Grand Slam. March 20, 2010
Super, thanks for asking
"Mate, there is nothing better than playing rugby in front of 40,000-50,000 South Africans cheering for your blood."
Carlos Spencer reminisces about the days when Super Rugby stadia were full week in, week out. March 10, 2010
"Mate, I don't know if we'll turn up. What's the point?"
Brumbies fly-half Matt Giteau doesn't hold back when asked what their reaction would be if Steve Walsh took charge of their derby with the Reds, April 26, 2010
"Sixty minutes later we come on top and we scored a f****** last minute try to get a f****** bonus point."
F****** Hurricanes match-winner Ma'a Nonu got in f****** trouble for f****** dropping the f-bomb seven f****** times in a colourful f****** radio interview conducted after his side's f****** win over the Chiefs, May f****** 1, 2010
"I likened Graham to the kumara; a bit wrinkly and old-looking on the outside but very sweet on the inside."
All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith likens head coach Graham Henry to a vegetable. April 16, 2010
"He's got an upside down mouth. He's one of those unfortunate people born with an upside down smile."
All Blacks assistant Steve Hansen weighs in with an insult of his own, from a mouth that apparently is the right way up. July 5, 2010
"Nando's was once again amazing!! Great service in the one in Walton aswell! Quiet night in and an early night before the game tomorrow!"
England and Quins scrum-half Danny Care offers his latest glowing endorsement of the chicken restaurant of choice for today's rugby player. September 26, 2010
"@danny_care unbelievable you lot. Is there something about Nando's that I just don't get?!
Bath centre Olly 'the voice of reason' Barkley doesn't see what all the fuss is about. September 26, 2010
"This is a real 1st for me. Ordering takeaway pizza from pizza hut for the kids and NOT getting anything for me."
Bath's Duncan Bell commits to his pre-season diet plan. July 11, 2010
"The world is against me. KFC has actually run out of chicken. Hmmmm probably a good thing..."
And gets a helping hand from KFC. September 26, 2010
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry