Campese warning for Wales

First published in National Rugby South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

AUSTRALIA great David Campese believes Wales will face a far more polished Wallabies side when the lock horns again in December.

The Aussies may have secured a 3-0 whitewash in the June Test series but the legendary wing, who scored 64 tries in 101 Test appearances, believes there is plenty more to come from his countrymen.

Campese will be on British shores on a after-dinner speaking tour this autumn, including a date at Rodney Parade in Newport on Friday, October 12, and the notoriously forthright Australian has been provided with plenty of ammunition.

Wales have come up against the Wallabies five times in the last eight months and lost every time.

Campese believes they wasted three golden chances this summer against their hosts, who were without skipper James Horwill and star backs Quade Cooper, James O’Connor and, for the first two Tests, Kurtley Beale.

“Wales played a slightly understrength Australia side and blew the opportunities in front of them,” he said.

“Wales have the players but sometimes lack that cutting edge. They must learn quickly.

“After losing the first Test convincingly, they should have possibly gone on to win the series. Australia showed them in the third Test how to close the game down.

“The Aussies will improve after their campaign in the Rugby Championship and it should make for a fantastic game in the autumn.

“But before that I am looking forward to coming to Newport in October having beaten Wales five times in the last eight months!”

Campese was impressed by the Welsh back three but feels that their dangerous strike runners are underused.

He said: “There needs to be less kicking and there needs to be more ball for George North and Alex Cuthbert, who are real threats.

“I was impressed by Leigh Halfpenny, who looks a certainty for the Lions squad. He’s very solid under the high ball and is a great goal kicker too.

“The Wales backs showed plenty of promise. Let’s get players to think for themselves though – see space and show their good skills.

“Wales also failed to deal with (openside) David Pocock and it ultimately cost them.

“They need to commit more men to the breakdown to generate quick ball. I currently coach academy players in Hong Kong and South Africa and quick ball is the key to opening rugby league style defences.”

l Tables of 10 for the event at Rodney Parade are available for £450 while there are a limited number of places on shared tables for £45 per person.

Contact The Events Room on 0845 108 5960 for more information.

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