Campese always welcome despite spray, says Deans

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.

“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.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

Comments are closed.