- Aussie great holds coaching clinics across the country
- Says there’s been a decline at sport’s grassroots
- Also lashed out at Eddie Jones, Rugby Australia boss
Aussie rugby all-time great David Campese has revealed that the rugby-playing children he meets during coaching trips across the country can’t answer a simple question about the national team.
The legendary winger has reacted to the Wallabies’ shocking World Cup campaign by blasting coach Eddie Jones, Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan and other influential figures in the game, saying his warnings about how badly the sport is struggling down under have gone unheeded.
‘For the past five years, I have travelled Australia to coach kids and try to make a difference, as I’ve seen the decline in skills and coaching at grassroots,’ Campese wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘I ask the kids after training to name their favourite Wallaby. Most of them can’t name one player.
Campese (pictured playing for the Wallabies at the 1995 World Cup) has lashed out at the state of his beloved sport in Australia
The Wallabies need a miracle to avoid crashing out of the World Cup in the group stage for the first time ever after their awful loss to Wales (pictured)
‘We want to hear less from McLennan and more about the players.’
Campese believes the rot started to set in for the code in Australia ‘about the timeof the Israel Folau saga, when Australian rugby lost plenty of supporters’.
Former NRL star Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia in May 2019 over homophobic social media posts in which he warned ‘drunks’ and ‘homosexuals’ that ‘hell awaits’ them.
The Wallabies great also slammed Jones over his reported job interview with Japanese rugby just days before the World Cup began.
‘After the Wales game, Jones threatened to walk out of a press conference if reporters kept asking questions about his interview with the Japan rugby federation, which from all reports is true,’ Campese wrote.
Australia’s greatest try-scorer in Test football has slammed Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan as he lashed out at the governing body
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones (pictured at a Wallabies training session during the World Cup) was also in Campese’s sights
‘Are we, the rugby public, expected to be taken for idiots?
‘The RA board is not showing accountability, and it feels like McLennan is untouchable.’
It’s far from the first time Campese has blasted the state of Aussie rugby.
Last year Australia’s record Test try-scorer branded the sport a ‘joke’ in an exclusive chat with Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s a farce,’ he said.
‘The referees think they are the most important person on the field. They think it’s about them, but it’s not. It’s about the game. It’s about the players and the supporters.
‘People don’t pay their money to watch a referee blow his whistle. They go to watch a game of football. They want to see tries, not penalty goals. It’s sad. The way things are now, it’s a joke.’