World Cup-winning former Wallaby David Campese has weighed in on Rugby Australia’s recent struggles, pointing the finger at the playing staff and a coach of yesteryear.
Campese told Fox Sports that the blame for the Wallabies’ four-win season – their worst in 60 years – should be shouldered by the players and not necessarily the staff.
“This is the problem: you can’t blame a coach. Players play,” Campese said.
“The coaches give you skills. It’s up to the players to go out and play the game.
“There’s a lot of talk about coaches, especially, today but why do we panic and look for an overseas coach straight away?
“New Zealand don’t, South Africa don’t.”
Campese expressed his frustration after watching the Wallabies end their season with a 37-18 loss to England at Twickenham last weekend.
“I was actually there unfortunately,” he said.
“Very frustrating. I was there at the Wales game [two weeks prior] thinking about 1984 when we played there and watching and it just didn’t look like they were interested to play.
“For me, two teams didn’t want to lose. It looks like they were just going through the motions.”
Campese also revealed who he believes is the source for the Wallabies’ troubles.
“I might get into trouble here but I think it started with Rod Macqueen because he was a very, very structured coach,” Campese said.
“Winning was great, but we actually forgot where we came from.
“We’ve always got to back to the grassroots before we go forward. You can’t always keep going to the top and now we’re in a position where all our players are the same.
“We used to have eight Kurtley Beales, we had the Ellas, we had Lloyd Walker, we had Michael Lynagh, the Horans. We had all those guys who could create things.
“Now we haven’t got that because the system hasn’t worked properly.
“Our kids can’t catch and pass. It’s very scary.”
Current head coach Michael Cheika will front the Rugby Australia board next week, where he and his staff will be under the microscope.
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