Australian rugby legend David Campese has expressed his disappointment at being overlooked for the NSW Waratahs coaching position.
Campese felt it was his time to step up and take over from Daryl Gibson, who quit in June after four years as Waratahs head coach.
But the Wallabies’ all-time leading try-scorer and 1991 World Cup winner took to Facebook to reveal he had been ruled out as a candidate.
“I received a call to say that I haven’t made it through to the final 2 candidates for the Waratahs Head Coach Role. Their reason: I don’t have enough experience as a head coach,” Campese wrote.
“It seems my experience as an international player and coach at all levels of rugby from International Level, Super 15 level and right down to grass roots level over the past 40 years, wasn’t enough.
“Watching the downward spiral of rugby in Australia from the sidelines for many years, I felt It was time for me to get actively involved.
“Working with NSW Rugby and RA for the past 18 months, I travelled the country coaching and connecting with clubs and schools. I enjoyed meeting these passionate and dedicated supporters and was fortunate to engage in many informative conversations with coaches, players, parents and supporters from many different clubs and schools.
“Sadly, every single one of them felt the same way about rugby: disillusioned, disconnected and helpless about the lack of support. I had hoped that my involvement at this level would make a difference and for some it hopefully has, however (sic) became clear to me that you cannot change a culture from the bottom up.”
Campese said his proposal to NSW Rugby was to overhaul the current coaching system and invest in a new one that mirrored from the top and at all levels right down to grassroots rugby.
“How do you expect to produce talent and depth without investing in the systems that produce them? I proposed shaking up the style of rugby, bringing back a winning mentality through a coaching style that encourages attacking, running rugby and risk taking,” he wrote.
“My aim was to turn the Waratahs into a formidable force in Super 15 Rugby whilst strategically investing in a grassroots program that produces highly skillful (sic) and confident players that can seamlessly transition into the more advanced levels of rugby.”
One-time frontrunner for the Waratahs role, former NSW assistant coach Scott Wisemantel, now England’s attack coach, has reportedly turned down the job.
Campese hopes the successful applicant is “someone with a deep understanding of the complex issues of the Australian rugby culture whilst upholding the heritage of the Waratahs”.
“Someone who is truly passionate about believing we can win again and, with this belief, reigniting the passion of the supporters and public,” he wrote.
“Someone who has the courage to make changes despite the media and public scrutiny when the results don’t come immediately.”
The NSW Rugby Union met on Wednesday before providing an update on the search for a new head coach.
“The vacancy has garnered a significant amount of attention, with a vast number of active coaches in world rugby indicating their interest in the position,” a statement said.
“The (selection) committee has indicated the ideal candidate will have a proven track record of success at the highest level and the ability to manage and develop talent.”
The NSWRU hopped to have Gibson’s replacement unveiled by mid-September.
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