JWC 2012 Launch reaction

(IRB.COM) Friday 1 June 2012
 JWC 2012 Launch reaction
Wian Liebenberg receives his JWC cap from coach Dawie Theron earlier in the week - Photo: SA Rugby

We bring you some reaction from the coaches and captains at the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 official launch in Cape Town on Friday.


South Africa captain Wian Liebenberg: "We are coming to take this all way. We are going to win this."

England captain Chris Walker: "We have been building up for a long time, we played together in the Six Nations and we have finally got out to South Africa. The first game Italy, which we have been concentrating on massively, when that comes around we are going be ready for that game. We are really excited, we are a proud bunch of lads and hopefully it is going to be an exciting tournament.

"That is going to be a huge spectacle for everyone involved, playing South Africa is kind of what you dream of. We are a proud nation just as they are so it is going to be a huge physical test for us all, but we are not really concentgrating on that game because we need to win our first two games to start with. All our concentration now is on Italy."

Argentina captain Sebastián Poet: "The team is very well, we are ready and we know what we want to achieve in this tournament so we’re very happy that the time is almost here. Our objectives are very clear, we want to make history for Argentina and get into the first six teams in the world

"All the opponents are hard to beat, it depends on us and on the confidence we have in what we can achieve. No matter who the opponent is we want to win so we are going to give it our best and focus on our team."

Wales coach Danny Wilson: "It is a very physical group, there is no doubt about that. It starts with Fiji, then we play New Zealand and then Samoa and we know that very similar threats, big powerful runners and can't afford to kick loose to these guys and afford to get turned over too often, we have to be able to keep the ball and hopefully therefore apply a bit of pressure.

Italy captain Giovanni Maistri: "There are a lot of young players in the squad who haven’t played in JWC before so now it’s time to see at what level we are and if we’re ready ... we can’t wait to start.

"It is a very hard pool, but at a World Championship all the pools are! We are preparing in the same way as always, our objective is to remain in the elite group and we hope we’ll be able to do so before the last game and not leave it to the final day."

Scotland captain Harry Leonard: "I think there is really good potential, we have got a really good squad, a few lads have come in since the Six Nations and they bring a lot of positives for us. We have got some good ball carriers up front and some good pace out wide so I think most of the lads are really looking forward to the tournament to start and certainly think we have got good potential.

"Well I think everyone knows that Australia are going to be really tough, year in year out they are a good time. Argentina, I think they will be a similar team to us, usually in the league they finish in a similar position, and France we played them in the Six Nations and had a really good game against them and I think it could have gone either way looking back at the game. That is a game we can really target and try to get a result."

"I think our number one goal would be to beat France and then again Argentina and see if we can get a good result against Australia and I think we could go home a happy team."

Italy coach Craig Green: “We know England might be a level above us, but we played very well in Ireland and if perhaps we have a chance of not finishing at the bottom of the group it would be against Ireland. That’s our third game and it’s probably the game we’re looking at more closely.”

“France is the other team (outside of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England who could win the title) that’s always there near the top and having seen the Six Nations Wales and Ireland are a bit behind so perhaps the top five would be the big four and France.”

Ireland coach Mike Ruddock: "A very tough pool, probably the most physical of the lot when you look at what Italy bring, they're going to be very, very physical, we played them in the Six Nations and they can’t be underestimated at all. England were (Six Nations) champions of course and South Africa as you’ve heard wants to win.
"We’re a confident bunch, we went to places like France and won this year. In the Six Nations we won four out of five matches, it’s a good team that believes they can go in there and get stuck into South Africa, we know the physicality is going to be up there.

France coach Didier Retiere: "As usual the pools are really hard because every team tries to do their best. We don’t talk much about Argentina but we know that they’ve got strong spirits, they’ll be good in defence, they’ll be good in set pieces and it’ll be really tough to break the line and so it’ll be a tough game. Australia is Australia, they are good in everything. They’re fast with a lot of skilful players, that’s the high level!

"The funny thing is that here in South Africa they say the French have two teams, a good one and a poor one and you never know what team is on the plane! We will do our best, during the Six Nations the level of the team improved a lot but we still have a lot of work to do."