Friday 24 November 2017

Marshall on . . .

World Cup 'chokers'

"No, I don't think it's a psychological thing. I think we came up against very good performances from teams who raised their games for the All Blacks. We came up against an unbelievable French performance in 1999 and Australia, who we had beaten by 50 points earlier, raised their game hugely in 2003. In '07, we could have beaten France at the end, but drop goals aren't in the All Black mentality; we just don't think that way."

New zealand 2011

"If New Zealand play the way they are playing now, they are going to be impossible to beat at the next World Cup, particularly on home ground. On their day, they are unstoppable, too quick, too strong, too physical. My only worry is if Dan Carter gets injured. We saw in Hong Kong what happens when he is not there."

'Speargate'

"I've huge respect for O'Driscoll, a fantastic player and a good guy, and I was very sorry to see him get injured. It was horrible and I went over to have a word with him as he was being taken off. But for (Clive) Woodward and his spin team to suggest it was done deliberately is ridiculous.

"There is no way an All Black would go out to deliberately hurt a player; how would you even set that up? We were not targeting O'Driscoll. We wanted to stay away from him because of his ability to grapple for the ball after the tackle -- it was Stephen Jones and (Jonny) Wilkinson we wanted to run at. This talk about disrespecting the haka or whatever was rubbish too. I think the Lions management got the whole thing badly wrong and dragged Brian into it."

Tomas O'Leary

"I think he is up there with the top scrum-halves like Fourie du Preez, Will Genia, Jimmy Cowan, Mike Phillips and England's Ben Youngs -- strong, confrontational guys. The modern-day scrum-half needs to be challenging the loose forwards and have the ability to break the line. He's a powerful player with a real attacking threat. I know he gets criticised for his passing, but I spent my entire career getting criticised for my passing and O'Leary's all-round game is very good."

Joining Leinster

"I was very interested in joining Leinster after my first year with Saracens. I liked the way they played and the set-up in Ireland but they went with Eoin Reddan. I think there was pressure on to sign an Irish player."

Irish Independent

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