With two rounds done and dusted, the 2019 Guinness Six Nations has already produced plenty of moments to savour.
From Wales’ record-breaking comeback to defeat France and England’s victory over Ireland in Dublin to Blair Kinghorn’s hat-trick heroics for Scotland, there has been drama at every turn.
But as the Guinness Six Nations prepares for Round Three, what better time look back on some of the best rugby quotes from the Championship and the players who have graced it over the years:
And we start with this year and Eddie Jones’ amusing description of his winger Jonny May:
But let’s head back into the history books:
Former France international Pierre Danos, who represented his country in the Championship in 1959.
“It’s been a long time coming. We have let a few people down in the past. I think we have stuttered and spluttered a bit in this Championship, but we have finished with our best performance of the season.” – Lawrence Dallaglio hails England’s heroes after their Grand Slam triumph in 2003.
“We’re showing signs of getting better. It’s just a pity the tournament is over now.” – Scotland’s Kenny Logan wishes that the Championship could go on for a bit longer in 2003.
“You’re only one game in this tournament from going from a good season to a bad season and that’s the way it will be for us if we don’t do the business in Cardiff.” – Ireland winger and 50-cap winner Denis Hickie following Ireland’s defeat to France in 2005.
A knackered and emotional Marc Lievremont after his France side seal the Grand Slam in 2010.
“Of course we’re frustrated. There are probably four teams saying ‘could have’ this season. But I said to the guys as they watched France lift the trophy – you’ve just played the champions, and you matched them all the way.” – Martin Johnson after England lost to France in 2010.
“It’s going to take a while to sink in fully. We’re Grand Slam champions. I’d dreamt about it and seen previous Grand Slams won on TV. But suddenly there I was out on the Millennium Stadium pitch on Saturday as captain of the Wales 2012 Grand Slam champions.” – Sam Warburton reflects on Wales winning the Grand Slam and emulating his heroes in the 2012 Championship.
Sam Warburton admits he was walking tall after Wales defended their Championship crown in 2013.
“I gathered the boys together in a huddle at the final whistle of our defeat by Wales and told them to remember the hurt they were feeling in that moment.” – Chris Robshaw responds to England’s defeat in Cardiff as Wales retain the Championship in 2013.
“We had a pasta starter, a pork dish for main course and a custard slice kind of thing for desert, which had chocolate pieces and raspberries with it. And the cutlery looked so expensive that it almost felt a shame to use it. A lovely way to top off a good win.” – Leigh Halfpenny reveals how Wales celebrated their victory in Rome in 2013.
“We’re playing against a team that hate you and want to beat you up or beat you in the game.” – Jack Nowell spices things up ahead of England’s Championship meeting with Wales at Twickenham in 2014.
“I feel a real sense of happiness. Not many people get to finish their career on their own terms and certainly not with high emotions like there have been today.” – Brian O’Driscoll on bowing out of international rugby as a two-time Championship winner after Ireland triumphed in 2014.
“When my generation watched rugby it was Jonah Lomu. For an entire generation Brian is Jonah Lomu.” – Jamie Heaslip on Brian O’Driscoll’s impact on rugby after the Ireland legend bid goodbye to the international stage for the final time.
“I might give him a hug, as long as it doesn’t get too awkward. We wouldn’t really be huggers really; it’s more of a high five or a handshake but we’ll see what happens.” – Paul O’Connell predicts how he’ll say goodbye to Brian O’Driscoll.
Former England and British & Irish Lions star Will Greenwood summed up Peter O’Mahony after naming him in his team of the Championship following the 2015 Six Nations.
“When the management got together he was just endorsed the feeling from the playing group. His performances have been first rate, he’s a consummate professional and as a farmer he’s got a lot of time on his hands to dedicate himself to the captaincy.” – Joe Schmidt on why he made Rory Best the new Ireland captain ahead of 2016 Championship.
“I felt like a bit of a boy in a man’s world.” – Simon Berghan recalls his Championship debut for Scotland against France in 2017 after coming off the bench in the second half.
“I’m the referee, I’m not a coach. You will probably find the solution with your coach, who is more able to tell you what you have to do than I am.” – Romain Poite’s answer to James Haskell when the England flanker asked him what on earth Italy were doing at the ruck in 2017.
“The stones on him!” – Rob Kearney reflects on Johnny Sexton’s stunning late drop-goal at the Stade de France that helped Ireland come from behind to beat France 15-13 last year.
“Every kid grows up dreaming of playing for Ireland. When you do that the next thing you want to do is win something for Ireland. To win something as captain in that special green jersey is what dreams are made of.” – Ireland’s captain Rory Best savours their Grand Slam triumph in 2018.