Campese overlooked as Waratahs head coach

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Campese (Pictured with the World Cup in 1991, AFP)

Australian rugby great David Campese has voiced disappointment after failing to make the shortlist for the vacant NSW Waratahs head coach job because of “not enough experience”.

Campese, the Wallabies’ all-time leading scorer who is widely considered one of the greatest players, revealed on Facebook he had been ruled out as a candidate to take over from former All Black Daryl Gibson.

“I received a call to say that I haven’t made it through to the final 2 candidates for the Waratahs head coach role,” he wrote late on Wednesday.

“Their reason: ‘I don’t have enough experience as a head coach’.

“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.”

Gibson quit as coach in June after a tumultuous season overshadowed by the sacking of Israel Folau and the star fullback’s bitter fight with Rugby Australia over homophobic comments.

Gibson had a year left on his contract, but opted not to see it out, ending a seven-year involvement with the Super Rugby club, including winning the southern hemisphere title in 2014.

The Sydney Morning Herald said NSW Rugby boss Andrew Hore was believed to have been in Japan recently interviewing potential candidates. Campese said he felt he had a lot to offer.

“My proposal to NSW Rugby was to overhaul the current coaching system and invest in a new one that is mirrored from the top and at all levels right down to grassroots level,” he said.

“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.”

The Waratahs struggled last season and could only finish 12th on the 15-team ladder.

Their season started well and they snapped the Crusaders’ record 19-match win streak in March, but it hit the skids after that.

The Waratahs will go into the 2020 season also without senior players including Test trio Sekope Kepu, Nick Phipps and Curtis Rona, who are all heading to London Irish.