Australia coach hits back at David Campese ahead of England clash

06:55 16 November 2012

Australia coach Robbie Deans before the game. Picture: David Davies/PA Archive

Australia coach Robbie Deans before the game. Picture: David Davies/PA Archive

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Robbie Deans today brushed aside comments by David Campese that he has “destroyed Australian rugby,” but admitted he understands criticism of his regime.

Embattled Australia coach Deans is under intense scrutiny due to a roller-coaster season that reached its nadir with last weekend’s 33-6 defeat by France.

England are the next assignment on their European tour and Australia great Campese would accept the hosts retaining the Cook Cup if it meant Deans is fired.

It has been a challenging year for injury-decimated Australia, with Deans awarding 14 new caps, using 41 players in 12 Tests and selecting four different captains.

England are in the rare position of entering Saturday’s showdown as odds-on favourites and will have few better chances to humble their rivals.

“The criticism is fair under the circumstances. We’re not happy with our performance either, so it’s understandable,” Deans said. “People are entitled to their opinion. It’s part of the territory.

“It’s great that David’s passionate about the game still and particularly the Wallaby jersey. But I really don’t want to comment any further.

“Every week there’s pressure, that’s what living in this arena is. It’s not about me, it’s about the team and helping them do what they do.

“This year has been an extraordinary year. There’s been a lot of adversity and some challenges to overcome.

“Along the way the side has shown its character but last weekend we didn’t.

“France was a performance we weren’t proud of and we want to address it. That’s where all our time and energy is going.

“Every week you’re nothing until you’ve proved otherwise. The margins are small in Test rugby.

“If you don’t enter in the right frame of body and mind, you’ll come unstuck.”

One of the most startling accusations from Campese is that Deans has betrayed the ethos of Wallaby rugby.

Previously famed for attacking ingenuity and dynamism that enabled them to punch far above their weight in terms of playing numbers, Australia are now devoid of imagination and bereft of confidence.

Campese has branded their failure to score a try in 177 minutes of rugby as “frightening” and “disgusting”, but Deans insists they have enjoyed their moments in a season that saw them finish runners-up in the Rugby Championship.

“If you’re going on our game against France, absolutely I understand the criticism of the way we’re playing,” he said. “But we’ve also played some unprecedented rugby in the last couple of years.”

A distinguished former Wallaby - not Campese - will present the jerseys before Saturday’s match, with Deans retaining a hard-nosed approach to the most troubled period of his four-year reign.

“I got Campo to do it in 2008 in Durban. And I would love to have him back by the way,” he said.

“You may not believe me, but if you are winning every game or losing every game the job is not dissimilar.

“They are just different challenges. The priorities remain the same and that’s what’s important to the team.”

Deans insists Australia’s objective at Twickenham is redemption.

“We want to feel a lot better about ourselves when we walk off the park. There are a number of things we must do to do that,” he said.

“It was a tired effort against France. We’ve got to have more energy. If we stand and watch the result will be similar.”

Related articles

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

EastEnders fans have been tasked with working out who killed Lucy Beale – with a behind-the-scenes visit to the soap on offer as a prize.

Read more

Games Of Thrones will get a plug in the festive edition of sci-fi show Doctor Who.

Read more

Don’t want to spend £3.25 on a Gingerbread Latte? Make your own.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

The Wealdstone Raider is givin’ it all he’s got to reach number one this Christmas – and he’s surprisingly close already.

The British boxer is “infinity per cent” sure the fight won’t happen.

Evidently the Liverpool star’s strength was not in his excellent hair.

The boxer was left with a fractured skull and broken ankle after pursuing two men who broke into his neighbour’s house.

Match Reports

TOP STORIES