David Campese is one of the world’s greatest ever rugby players and is now a member of the Stan Sport and Nine team. ‘Campo’ will be sharing his expert insights with a regular column for Wide World of Sports
I’ve got a lot of Kiwi mates and enormous respect for the New Zealand rugby teams.
But I have got no doubt that the Waratahs are much better off now as they are 6-4 in Super Rugby in 2022.
Under coach Coleman the players are playing a lot better and are a lot more confident as shown by their win over the Crusaders at Leichhardt Oval, which was absolutely fantastic.
Now we have shown that we have good coaches in Australia, we don’t need to bring coaches into Australia who don’t understand our culture and our style of rugby.
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The Waratahs are a very young team but you can see the hunger this year compared to last year.
When you see their body language you can see they are in a great place.
It’s great to see the Tahs bring a bit of mongrel back into the game and a bit of confidence.
It’s interesting to see that any young player who gets a game is taking that opportunity.
It’s good for the coaches to have two or three players vying for that position.
Winning six of 10 games so far, we still have a long way to go.
In sport you realize your next game is your hardest game.
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Yes they are a young team, but to go into this Super Rugby tournament, where you are playing some of the best teams in the world, really brings out a lot of character in a team.
Let’s hope that the train stays on the tracks and the Waratahs can get even better after a disastrous 2021 season.
Now people who love rugby can pick up the papers on the Sunday and read about rugby being back on the winning track.
It’s also great for the club rugby season and the juniors to see the Waratahs play a style of rugby that will hopefully inspire kids to play one day and be like their idols.
Winning at home is one thing but then you have to travel across the ditch and anyone who has played Super Rugby knows that things don’t get any easier.
So let’s hope that the confidence and the smiles on players’ faces will still be there after this round.
The more fun you have, the better you play.
I do a lot of coaching around Australia and it’s noticeable now that the younger kids are starting to understand who some of the players are in our Super Rugby teams.
Whereas 12 months ago that wasn’t the story.
One thing the Super Rugby teams should realize is that younger kids are looking for idols.
They look up to provincial teams to find someone they want to be like.
So the more we win the more kids want to be like them.
This is how we grow rugby in Australia.
Grassroots is still alive and today I was up at the Hunter Valley where Hunter Valley High had a rugby challenge with boys and girls playing sevens.
When you see this sort of rugby on Thursday at a school you realize that grassroots is alive and well in Australia.
As the ambassador for the Hunter Wildfires I get the opportunity to go around and visit many kids.
Today I saw a lot of talent who might go to that level for the Waratahs. Let’s hope so.
It’s also great that the Hunter Wildfires have been put back into the Shute Shield and at the moment they are coming sixth on the ladder.
I remember playing Newcastle in 1999 and the score wasn’t flattering for the Wildfires back then.
But they are very competitive, have 2000 juniors and the more we look after the juniors in the regions the more we will create.
That must be great for the game.
I’m sure the anticipation for this week’s games is high for everyone in Australia.
Let’s go boys.
Sean Maloney and Andrew Mehrtens are joined by Morgan Turinui in a special episode from Marvel Stadium. They talk upcoming Wallabies fixtures, Super Rugby Pacific and start the backline for the Weird Cat XV
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