'Maybe it's a good thing in Australian rugby where good players are missing out'
Slow and steady wouldn’t usually be the recommended approach for a fullback or winger but it’s served Jock Campbell well as he waits for his next rugby union opportunity.
The 25-year-old has taken an old-school path to the professional ranks, proving himself at club level and the second-tier National Rugby Championship to now own a spot in the Queensland Reds’ star-studded backline.
Campbell’s assuredness and classical skill set have contributed to a six-game unbeaten run this season, showing his versatility with a number of clutch plays as he switched from fullback to the wing in last weekend’s defeat of the Melbourne Rebels.
But unlike many of his teammates, he’s yet to be recognised at the next level, overlooked for a 40-man Wallabies training squad that will gather this month.
That’s despite the Wallabies still searching for a standout No.15 under new coach Dave Rennie.
“Banksy’s the No.1 guy and rightfully so, but hopefully I’m close and it’s good to have people in your corner,” Campbell told AAP.
“My journey’s been a bit slower than others – from club to NRC it’s taken a while to get there – so it’s just the same again; keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully they give me a shot.
“I’m definitely understated; that’s probably a good word because I pride myself on doing the little things well and when you have players like Jordy (Petaia), Hunter (Paisami), Filipo (Daugunu) it’s hard not to give them the ball.
“They do some special things. I know my role in the team and it’s not to be one of those flashy type of players. That’s their thing and they do it bloody well.”
But he said Campbell’s waiting game was “how it should be”.
“He’s come out of club footy and got stronger and stronger as he went,” Thorn said.
“He just does the right thing; low error rate, reliable, consistent … but he’s got his X-factor as well. He can hit a hole, get an intercept and he’s looked to muscle up a bit this year.
“But it’s just Test footy; maybe it’s a good thing in Australian rugby where good players are missing out.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now