Needing a dose of optimism led us to examine the claim of rugby legend David Campese, who said that the Wallabies could recover from the disaster of 2018 Test play and win the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Four wins from 13 Tests, the last against the pasta-twisters, is hardly the sort of result that lends much weight to Campese, but there he was, all the same, outlining a plan for Wallaby ascendancy.
“We’re always dangerous at the World Cup,” Campese said to reporters in remarks published by the AAP. “And the World Cup’s now a bash-fest. You don’t play your best rugby; it’s a bash-fest.”
The 2018 Wallabies certainly did not play their best rugby and if there were any sort of festival going on, Australia was the bash-ee and not the bash-or.
It seems that Campese’s position is one of numbers, a proposition of outlasting the other squads.
“If you’ve got the players to last six games, you’ve got a very good chance of winning it,” Campese said.
Wallabies’ fans have at times been at a loss, so far as understanding the thought process behind some of Michael Cheika’s selections, but Campese expressed the view that there was a method to the madness. Thirty-five newcomers to Test rugby made debuts in 2018, so if Cheika were trying to deploy a World Cup strategy of attrition, he has made a good beginning.
“I just think they’ve got a plan,” Campese said.
In his playing days, there was ample time to bring in new players and expose them to the international competitions, according to Campese, but that this is no longer the case.
“Now, you haven’t got time to blood all the young guys.That’s why I think he’s (Cheika) struggled because you’ve got to try and give these guys game time. When can they actually play?”
Well, it is a nice concept and a welcome departure from sharpening the axe many would like to see applied to the neck of the Wallabies’ coach, but if Campese and his prediction bear fruit, he can write them down and put them in a letter to himself, a letter bearing his very own legends postage stamp.