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Campese always welcome despite spray, says Wallabies coach Deans

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans ... refused to be drawn into a war of words with Campese.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans ... refused to be drawn into a war of words with Campese. Photo: Getty Images

LONDON: Robbie Deans says he would welcome David Campese back into the Wallabies dressing room despite being called the "worst thing that has ever happened to Australian rugby" by the legendary former outside back.

Campese, who was invited to make the jersey presentation to the Wallabies before a Test in South Africa in 2008, has long been a critic of Deans and the current crop of Wallabies, often posting remarks on Twitter. But the former wing and fullback, who retired from Test rugby 16 years ago after scoring 64 tries in 101 games, went a step further this week with a highly personal attack on the Australian coach.

"Deans has destroyed Australian rugby and I want him to go," he told London's Telegraph newspaper.

Attack ... former Australian winger David Campese.

Attack ... former Australian winger David Campese. Photo: Getty Images

"We've got a team at the moment that can't catch and can't pass. Wallaby teams in the past were never like this. Anyone who knows anything about Australian rugby knows what it's famous for - loops, angles, switches, counter-attack, creative play. Where's all that gone? We can't even pass properly."

During a media session in the Wallabies hotel on Thursday Deans was repeatedly asked if he was hurt or troubled by Campese's comments but, for the most part, would not be drawn into the matter.

He went as far as to say he would be "happy to have [Campese] back, too, by the way" in reference to his 2008 jersey presentations, before adding: "It's great David's passionate about the game still and in particular the Wallabies jersey, but I really don't want to comment any further".

To another question he replied: "People are entitled to their opinion and as I've said many times before it's part of the territory. Most importantly, [the Test against France] was a performance we weren't proud of, we want to address it and that's where all our time and energy is going".

Deans admitted tomorrow's Test was key and said the Wallabies needed to be prepared for what England would throw at them at Twickenham. He also indicated he had given the side a licence to throw the ball around.

"They'll look to use the scrum off the back of last week, they'll look to use [winger] Chris Ashton through the inside channels, they'll look to use a kicking game, so that's a good starting point for us, to accept and meet those challenges, because it won't matter what we bring to the game if we don't," he said.

"From there we've obviously got to be a lot more effective in our own attack, the use of running the ball, we've got to ask more, we can't be one dimensional."

32 comments so far

  • Campo says "We've got a team at the moment that can't catch and can't pass."

    Come on David seriously !!. The 1989 British Lions Tour when you threw a hospital pass to Greg Martin behind your own tryline resulting in a winning try to the Lions !!!

    This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Commenter
    James
    Date and time
    November 16, 2012, 11:07AM
    • Maybe Campo just knows his own type well and is therefore the mot qualified to comment

      Commenter
      fumble
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      November 16, 2012, 12:23PM
  • I seem to remember that Campo was known as someone who couldn't pass and couldn't tackle.

    Commenter
    Paul
    Date and time
    November 16, 2012, 11:09AM
    • that's why he was on the wing. other positions who form part of the chain need to be able to catch and pass

      Commenter
      insomniac
      Date and time
      November 16, 2012, 12:24PM
    • Was it Campo who threw the miracle ball over his shoulder, to Michael Lynagh, resulting in a win over Ireland, and subsequently the world cup that year?

      Commenter
      Dimeweed
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 16, 2012, 2:13PM
    • That pass was against the All Blacks.
      For those having a go at Campo he was absolutely brilliant with ball in hand and at least he attempted to pass the ball now and again. Today's team don't even try.

      Commenter
      Shop
      Location
      Argentina
      Date and time
      November 16, 2012, 2:38PM
    • @ Shop
      What's up ? Everything OK ?
      I mean, I know your position on Deans as you have campaigned long and hard for his sacking. But this is.....well to me it's a little bit more disturbing....going referee for Campo ! What's doin' ?
      An opinion as to the suitability of Deans as coach is one thing but in my opinion Campo is way out of order don't you think? It's both the tone and type of comments and his timing (always been an issue) before this Test match ? But... that's so Campo, as he only opens his mouth to change his feet.
      On a more constructive and positive note... well done Argentina in the inaugural Rugby Championship and most recently for beating Wales !

      Commenter
      Machooka
      Location
      inner west sydney
      Date and time
      November 16, 2012, 4:45PM
  • I think Australia can still beat England. It comes down to self-belief and following the coaches instructions to the letter.

    Commenter
    Shawn
    Date and time
    November 16, 2012, 11:10AM
    • So loved and admied fr his expert opinion ............... he lives in South Africa
      Once a clown - always a clown..............he taught Mundane everythig he knows

      Commenter
      gman
      Location
      nsw
      Date and time
      November 16, 2012, 11:25AM
      • The Lions tour 1989!!!, James, let it go son let it go.

        Commenter
        Alex
        Location
        Syd
        Date and time
        November 16, 2012, 11:29AM

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