Daily Dispatch

Campese scrums down for basics

Former Oz great says win-at-all-cost mentality is stifling spirit of the game


LEGENDARY David Campese has insisted that basics are key to a player’s developmen­t.

The former Wallabies wing was delivering a speech during a Legends Dinner held at Stirling High School in East London on Saturday evening.

Sharing the stage with Waylon Murray, John Allen and Greg Miller, Campese also spoke at length about how the game has transforme­d since his playing days.

Campese shared some memorable moments of his career starting from the 1991 World Cup, including tackling Jonah Lomu at the 1995 tournament, in which he was at his peak.

However, now under Investec Internatio­nal Rugby Academy banner, Campese reiterated that elegance lays in simplicity.

“Rugby has nowadays moved from the game it used to be when we still played. Players are stronger, bigger and faster and in the process we are forgetting the basics,” said Campese.

“Players don’t work as hard as they should and coaches have a job of making sure the team wins, by all means and that is breaking the spirit of the game. Rugby is all about getting the basics right.”

Campese signed off his visit to East London by conducting coaching clinics at Stirling Primary with just under 100 players and coaches of all ages on Sunday. According to the man who invented the goose-step, Campese, the coaching courses are as vital to the youngsters as they are to the coaches.

“Every coach has his own style of play and they differ. Instead of only working with the kids, we also work with the coaches to ensure continuity and also give them alternativ­es,” he said.

With the game of rugby getting more competitiv­e at school level, the stakes are higher at provincial and internatio­nal level.

During their coaching clinic, former Springbok centre Murray encouraged youngsters to go back to the basics and never forget them.

The former Westville Boys High pupils explained the pressures of franchise and internatio­nal rugby after making his Springbok debut against Samoa at age 21.

“What we are trying to do as with Investec is ensure that players and coaches do not forget the basic because that is what the game is all about.

“Basics are your one constant, they never change. For me, one year out of school and I was playing top-level rugby. That was a big jump but I’m thankful I had a franchise like the Sharks to help me through those times,” said Murray.

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