There are few more qualified to talk about the Wallabies than legendary player David Campese.
A veteran of 101 appearances for the Wallabies including three Rugby World Cups, Campese was player of the tournament in 1991 as well as picking up a winners’ medal. Inside Sport caught up with Campo in London to get his thoughts on the Wallabies and this year’s tournament.
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After last weekend’s game against Fiji, the Wallabies attracted criticism for their first-half performance and found themselves trailing 14-12 at the break – but Campese delivers a reality check for those who already writing off Cheika’s men based on that performance.
“Fiji probably thought they had a chance to beat Australia," he says. "The way they came out at 100 miles an hour, you know, they played bloody well.
"The Wallabies looked like they were a bit shell shocked in the first 20 or 30 minutes.
"People have got to realise you can’t win a World Cup from the first game.”
Fiji’s second game, against Uruguay, turned out to be shock result but if you put it in the context of the tournament it makes far more sense, says the veteran of more than 100 Wallaby tests.
“They have probably got such a high to play Australia, but they couldn’t get themselves up again. Which is a shame because Fiji are a bloody good team,” says Campese.
Campese believes Tier 2 teams such as Fiji are not being helped by World Rugby, illustrated by Fiji playing just eight matches against Tier 1 nations since the last Rugby World Cup.
“You know, they don’t really play," he adds. "In between World Cups - who do they really play? They don’t really get the chance.”
But what was his advice for the Wallabies' recipe for success?