Legendary Wallaby David Campese has a long history of England bashing and there is no sign of that stopping, his latest barb being the John Mitchell encounter in Japan that convinced him Eddie Jones’ side would not lift the World Cup trophy last November.
The 1991 World Cup final winner – the Aussies beat the English in that year’s decider at Twickenham – was in Yokohama for the 2019 semi-finals and a half-time meeting with Mitchell and his boss Jones during the dreadful South Africa versus Wales match left Campese in no doubt that England would be beaten the following weekend.
Speaking in a Rugby Pod interview on Patreon, Campese explained: “It was quite interesting the World Cup last year after they (England) beat they All Blacks and played great rugby. The week before the Kiwis played fantastic rugby against Ireland, so in world rugby, in any game of rugby, the last week’s game doesn’t really help you the next week and you could see the Kiwis thought this is going to easy. England just defended and smashed them.
“But what happened was interesting. On the Sunday it was South Africa-Wales and I was in one of the VIP boxes and at half-time Eddie Jones and John Mitchell – John Mitchell never smiles – they walked into the VIP with the world’s biggest smile on their face thinking ‘we’ve got this, we’ve got this one’ as it [South Africa-Wales] wasn’t a great game. The week after what happened? South Africa absolutely smashed them.
“It just reminded me that in the World Cup ’91, we beat New Zealand in Lansdowne Road, we played pretty well. But there is another game to go so mentally you have got to turn up for that game. The week before does not help you and I think the England players thought this is going to be easy.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 24, 2020
“Obviously, they lost players. You lost one of the props (Kyle Sinckler), a key runner. All of a sudden Dan Cole comes on. He has played 20 minutes every game, now he has got to play 60 minutes. It was just tactics, so Eddie was outsmarted.
“And now I see that he going, ‘well, I have got to change. Instead of telling the players what we are going to do we are going to ask them questions’. I mean, realistically he has been coaching for 30 years and he still can’t get it right.”
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