Wallabies legend David Campese says coach Robbie Deans is responsible for Australia’s abysmal record and should be sacked.
The Wallabies won the 2011 Tri-Nations and finished third at the subsequent World Cup, but since Deans came to power in 2008 they have battled against the All Blacks and suffered some embarrassing defeats to the likes of Samoa and Scotland.
They most recently went down to France, and it was after this defeat that Campese let Deans have it.
‘Deans has destroyed Australian rugby and I want him to go,’ he told The Telegraph. ‘We’ve got a team at the moment that can’t catch and can’t pass. Wallaby teams in the past were never like this.
‘Anyone who knows anything about Australian rugby knows what it’s famous for – loops, angles, switches, counter-attack, creative play. Where’s all that gone? We can’t even pass properly.’
The Wallabies will play England at Twickenham this week, and will do so without two key players. Lock Rob Simmons has been suspended for a tip-tackle in last week’s Test, and centre Pat McCabe is the latest player to be added to a lengthy injury list.
But Campese feels that it is the game plan and poor ball skills that are at fault, and that Deans needs to be axed sooner rather than later.
‘I played for Australia and it’s clearly hard to go against them, especially when it’s against the Poms. But if Australia win, Deans stays. I just want him to go. He’s the worst thing that has ever happened to Australian rugby.
‘I just don’t know why we had to go and get a foreign coach when we’ve won two World Cups with our own coaches. Look at how Matt Giteau’s been treated. He’s sitting down there, playing in Toulon, 92 caps, finished with Test rugby, and all because the coach doesn’t like him. It’s an ego trip.’
Campese also feels that the players have not bought into Deans’s philosophy.
‘Just look at the body language of the players. It’s terrible. They’re not having fun, not enjoying themselves at all. There are lots of problems within the team.
‘You’ve got to go out and get people to want to come and watch you play. Ain’t happening with us, mate. The skill factor is so poor at the moment. Look at Pat McCabe in the centre. He’s not a good passer and he’s tipped to be the next captain.
‘I know there are injuries but even so. There are no big names there, no one to set the stadium alight. There’s something missing. There’s no fear factor about the Wallabies any more. And that’s a sad state of affairs.’
Despite Campese’s pleas for a new coach, Deans is likely to be at the helm when the Aussies host the British & Irish Lions in 2013.