Townsville Bulletin

‘Campo’ urges Wallabies to get among fans more often


ONE of Australia’s most influentia­l union figures said the sport’s profile would benefit from current players getting among the fans more often.

Legendary Wallabies winger David “Campo” Campese was in North Queensland for the historic Townsville double-header, and to help raise the profile of the sport in the North.

This included engaging with local players at Wallabies functions and modified clinics for kids with disabiliti­es.

“Rugby around Australia has suffered over the last couple of years. Obviously the Wallabies winning now makes a big difference,” he said.

“When you’re competing with the other codes, you’ve really gotta entertain.

“There are a lot of girls and women playing now, which is great. Really it’s about letting them know you can go anywhere around the world playing rugby.”

The 58-year-old said, however, that he’d like to see players out and about with the grassroots future of the sport.

“I think we really need the younger Wallabies to come out and about because they’re the ones kids want to be like,” he said. “That’s vital – when they can touch a Wallaby and for the rest of their life they can say ‘I’ve met such and such, I want to be like them’.

“I think that’s been neglected over the last couple of years.”

Campese said the Rugby Championsh­ip matches in Queensland, as well as the opportunit­y to play sevens in the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, should help serve as a platform for union to re-emerge in the state.

“What a great opportunit­y to play sevens and win a gold medal, whereas those other codes can’t go to the Olympics or Commonweal­th Games,” he said. “The more we can get to promote the sport to (the kids), the better it’s going to be.

“I’ve spoken to a few schools who don’t play rugby at all who are keen to start (programs).

“If we can start to offer kids an alternativ­e sport (to league) and an opportunit­y to represent your country, why wouldn’t you want to go to the Olympic Games?”

 ?? ?? David Campese.
David Campese.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia