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Wallabies legend Campese wants to help Rugby Australia's rebirth

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Wednesday Nov 22, 2023

In the aftermath of Australia’s challenging year in rugby, legendary player David Campese has stepped forward, offering his expertise to rescue the Wallabies.

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The former star aims to contribute in a coaching, mentoring, and advisory capacity, emphasising the need for change after the team’s World Cup struggles and Eddie Jones’s resignation.

Campese, who scored 64 tries in his illustrious career, is not seeking to take over but desires an active role, leveraging his vast knowledge to aid in the Wallabies’ resurgence. In an interview with News Corp, he expressed frustration at watching Australia’s recent failures and emphasised the necessity of returning to a winning style.

“I didn’t score the most tries in world rugby by standing back and watching. I don’t want to take over; I just want to be involved because I know I have a lot to offer with a lot of knowledge,” Campese stated.

Reflecting on the bygone era when Australia was synonymous with winning and stylish play, Campese underscored the importance of imparting skills to players, moving away from overly structured approaches.

He highlighted the need to break down rugby league-style defences prevalent in the modern game, emphasising that rugby’s charm lies in its attacking prowess.

Campese believes that expanding rugby’s appeal is crucial for its future. He advocates for instilling rugby’s culture and history, especially when coaching kids, to create a sense of connection and pride in the sport.

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The former Wallaby stresses the need for professionalism and entertaining play to capture the interest of young athletes, offering them unique opportunities in competitions like the Commonwealth Games and Olympics.

“We need kids to understand the opportunities they have been given in rugby. They can go to the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games and play sevens. We need to entertain the people so they will come and watch our great game,” Campese asserts.

Campese’s proactive stance presents a potential turning point for Australian rugby. His desire to contribute to the Wallabies’ revival and rejuvenate rugby’s essence aligns with the urgent need for change.

“I learnt to win and that is one thing we have to do in Australian rugby – win and win in style. And we used to win.

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“This isn’t about keeping people happy. It’s been difficult for years because of the things I say. It’s not normally what people want to hear.”

As discussions unfold about the future of Australian rugby, Campese’s insights, experience, and commitment could play a pivotal role in steering the sport towards a brighter and more successful era.

“There are some fantastic opportunities over the next eight or nine years and we need to sit down and say, right, this is our place.

“We have to tell the kids the rugby history and the culture and why we used to win.

“I want to be positive about the opportunities rugby presents. We don’t need to fight with rival codes – we need to deliver.” The legend concluded.

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