Key Quotes from the 2013 RBS Six Nations Launch

Wales 6N
This morning, the official media launch for the 2013 RBS Six Nations took place at the Hurlingham Club in London. Below are a selection of interesting quotes from the captains and coaches of the 6 teams. More previews, along with a fuller write-up of the day, will be up soon.

Stuart Lancaster, England head coach:

On what’s important in the future: “It’s been about getting the culture right. We’ve been competitive in every game we’ve played so far; the trick now is to build some consistency.”
On this year’s championship: “Every game is tough. It’s the same for everyone; you don’t have a lot of time to prepare.”
On France: “We beat them last year, so they will have plenty of motivation against us this time.”
On that game against New Zealand: “What we did well was not backing up an error with an error. When we made a mistake, we made sure that we corrected it.”
On Robshaw: “It’s great to see that the captaincy hasn’t affected his performances. He’s consistently top of the leader boards if you look at the stats after a game.”

Chris Robshaw, England captain:

On the autumn: “We felt we improved every game. It’s now about kicking on, and figuring out how we get our game going again after time away.”
On England’s leadership group: “I’m very lucky to have a group of people around me who want to lead for England as they do for their clubs. It’s a case of just overseeing them.”
On the last year: “It has been surreal. There’s a bigger weight of expectation on us, and me, this year, definitely.”

Scott Johnson, Scotland interim head coach:

On Scotland’s poor autumn: “We’re looking to create our own history; we have to disregard what happened in the past.”
On exciting new prospect New Zealand-born Sean Maitland: “When I interviewed his dad, he was wearing a kilt. Sean was brought up wacthing Scottish rugby, and I think he’d be offended if you implied he wasn’t Scottish.”
On pre-tournament favourites France: “The French were superb in the Autumn; they showed superb consistency. They will be battle worn, and we’re hoping battle weary.”
On Johnnie Beattie’s recall to the squad: “Johnnie has been superb for Montpellier; he has really grown from living abroad.”
On Dean Ryan’s appointment as interim forwards coach: “It’s a young coaching setup, so it was important to have someone with maturity, who’s been around the game for a while. He’s a commanding voice in the changing room.”

Kelly Brown, senior member of the Scotland squad:

On their aims for the championship: “We’re all working incredibly hard. Our aim is to make Scotland proud.”
On the infusion of youth in the squad: “It’s really exciting to join up with these young guys. Sean Maitland, in particular, is one to look out for. He’s got serious wheels.”

Rob Howley, Wales interim head coach:

On the spate of injuries that has hit the squad: “We’re staying positive regarding the injuries. We see it as a good opportuinity for other players.”
On the returning front row players: “It’s great to have Adam Jones and Craig Mitchell back; we now have great strength in depth in the front row, which could be key.”
On Dan Lydiate’s injury: “Dan is ahead of schedule in his comeback from injury, and we hope he could be fit for the end of the tournament.”

Sam Warburton, Wales captain:

On his battle with Justin Tipuric for the no.7 shirt: “We’ve got to get our best players on the pitch. I’d be happy to play anywhere in the back row.”
On being defending champions: “It’s nice to go in as reigning champions. The last few months have been tough, but that’s just sport. There’s lots of ups and downs.”
On playing first up at the Millenium Stadium: “Momentum is very important, so it’s good to start off at home. After that we’ve got 3 games on the road, so it’s important to get a win first up.”
On finding confidence even when not winning: “You don’t become a bad team overnight, just like you don’t become a good one overnight. It’s a fine line, and we know we’ve been putting in some good performances.”
On the Lions: “Obviously every player knows the Six Nations is a shop window for the Lions. For now what’s important is putting in good performances for the national team.”

Philippe Saint-André, France head coach:

On the appointment of Pascal Papé as captain: “Pascal did a great job in Argentina, and in the Autumn to lead the team to 4 wins. With him what you see is what you get. The players respect him, and he has fantastic charisma.”
On the disruption to his training plans by Top 14 matches: “We haven’t come together in camp yet, like other teams. We will be together on Saturday, but there are still league games to play on Thursday and Friday. It’s like everyone has to run 100m, but we start 10m behind and have to run 110m.”
On fly-halves: “They are like a good French wine; the older they are, the better they are.”

Pascal Papé, France captain:

On the youngsters: “The young players in the squad bring great spirit and ambition. They want to work hard and play well.”
On the Italy game: “We have lost in Rome before, so everyone knows we need a big performance.”

Jacques Brunel, Italy head coach:

On the future: “November was just the start for us. We have been improving and developing a lot, but we need results now.”
On the blend of their squad: “We have 12 new players in the squad. It is a good mixture of youth and experience.”

Sergio Parisse, Italy captain:

On their chances: “We have 3 home matches, where we expect to play well and give the supporters a good result.”
On the Rome factor: “It will be difficult for the teams to come and play in Rome, in front of our fans.”
On the other teams: “France are playing some great rugby, but for us the trip to Twickenham will be the most difficult match.”
On Italy’s improvement: “For sure we are getting stronger. We are confident that we can beat anyone.”
On his aspirations: “Before I retire, I want to see an Italy team that can compete for the championship.”

Declan Kidney, Ireland Head Coach:

On the selection of Heaslip as captain: “You can see in the way he carries himself that he is a leader. He is different to Brian (O’Driscoll).”
On coaching the national team: “It’s a huge honour for me to be an Irishman coaching the national team.”
On contract renewal: “There have been no conversations with the IRFU.”

Jamie Heaslip, Ireland Captain:

On being appointed captain: “I’m still very wet behind the ears. I’m buzzing just to be here.”
On taking over from Brian O’Driscoll: “I spoke to him at training and he shook my hand and wished me the best of luck. He’s fully behind me, and I’ll be asking him for advice when I need it. The dynamic in the squad won’t change at all; I’m not going to talk any more or less than before, and it’s the same individuals out on the pitch.”
On the autumn series: “It didn’t reflect at all where we are as a team.”
On the opening game against Wales: “It’s hugely important. You may not be able to win a grand slam on day one, but you can certainly lose it.”