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|Full name||David Ian Campese|
|Date of birth||21 October 1962|
|Place of birth||Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia|
|Height||180 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||89 kg (196 lb)|
|Notable relative(s)||Terry Campese|
|Rugby union career|
|Professional / senior clubs|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
New South Wales
Amatori Rugby Milano
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|Sevens national teams|
|Years||Club / team||Comps|
|Years||Club / team|
Murray Mexted International Academy
Sharks (Currie Cup)
David Ian Campese, AM (born 21 October 1962), also known as Campo, is a former Australian rugby union player. Campese was capped by the Wallabies 101 times, and held the world record for the most tries in test matches (64) until Daisuke Ohata scored his 65th try playing for Japan on 14 May 2006. He was voted player of the tournament at the 1991 Rugby World Cup after scoring nine tries in tests that season and six in the tournament. He is famous for his "goose-step" — a hitch-kick motion which left opponents stumbling to try to tackle him.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Early rugby career
- 3 Australian under 21s
- 4 1982 Bledisloe Cup Test Series
- 5 1983
- 5.1 Australia 49 - United States 3 (Sydney - 9 July 1983)
- 5.2 Australia 3 - Argentina 18 (Brisbane - 31 July 1983)
- 5.3 Australia 29 - Argentina 13 (Sydney - 7 August 1983)
- 5.4 Australia 8 - New Zealand 18 (Sydney - 20 August 1983)
- 5.5 Australia 29 - Italy 7 (Rovigo - 22 October 1983)
- 5.6 Australia v France (1983)
- 6 1984 Bledisloe Cup Test Series
- 7 1984 Grand Slam
- 8 1985
- 9 1986
- 10 1986 Bledisloe Cup Test Series
- 11 World Cup woes
- 12 1988 Australian Tour to Europe
- 13 Campo's Corner
- 14 1991 Rugby Union World Cup
- 14.1 1991 World Cup Pool Match - Australia 39 - 19 Argentina (Llanelli - 4 October 1991)
- 14.2 1991 World Cup Pool Match - Australia 9 - Western Samoa 3 (Pontypool - 9 October 1991)
- 14.3 1991 World Cup Pool Match - Australia 38 - Wales 3 (Cardiff - 12 October 1991)
- 14.4 1991 World Cup Quarter Final - Australia 19 - Ireland 18 (Dublin - 20 October 1991)
- 14.5 1991 World Cup Semi Final - Australia 16 - 6 New Zealand (Dublin - 27 October 1991)
- 14.6 1991 World Cup Final - Australia 12 - 6 England (London - 2 November 1991)
- 15 Later career
- 16 Opinions
- 17 Legacy
- 18 Honours
- 19 Notes
- 20 References
David Campese was born on 21 October 1962, in Queanbeyan, New South Wales to Gianantonio and Joan Campese. His older brother Mario was born in 1959. Campese has two sisters, Lisa and Corrina. Lisa was born in 1964 and Corrina was born in 1965. In 1966 his family moved back to Montecchio Precalcino in northern Italy for eighteen months before moving back to Australia and settling in Queanbeyan, New South Wales.
Campese attended his local public school and high school and played rugby league from the ages of eight to sixteen for the Queanbeyan Blues. At age 16 he gave up all forms of rugby to play golf. In 1978 he won the ACT-Monaro Schoolboys golf title.
Early rugby career
David Campese played his first game of rugby union for the Queanbeyan Whites in 1979 in fourth grade. During 1980 he was promoted to first grade. After two years of first-grade rugby, in 1981 Campese was promoted to the Australian under-21 squad to tour New Zealand that was beaten 37-7. Shortly after, Campese was selected in a 'trial match' prior to Australia's 1981/82 Tour to the UK, but did not achieve national selection.
Australian under 21s
In 1982 the Scottish Test side toured Australia for a two-Test series. Prior to both Tests, David Campese was a standout performer at fullback playing for the Australian under 21s side.
- "A few months earlier Campese had played for the Australian under-21s against the Fijian under-21s in a curtain-raiser to the first Test against Scotland in Brisbane, and he had cut the Fijian defence to shreds. I asked at once who he was and was told he was a rising star in the Canberra competition. Then I saw him play a second time in the curtain-raiser to the second Test, and again he was brilliant in attack."
In the tribute book David Campese former Australian coach Alan Jones wrote that:
- "I was at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1982 when this unknown Canberra teenage fullback was playing in what was regarded as something of a trial, a curtain raiser to a Test against a New Zealand Under 21 side, though rarely did anyone from such a trial graduate immediately to much else. People were wandering into the ground and those who were there gave little attention to what was happening on the paddock. But on this day, and not for the first time, a remarkably gifted and fleet of foot Canberra teenager swept into the backline, received the ball at the end of a pass, chip-kicked, accelerated, gathered and scored."
In Running Rugby former Australian rugby player Mark Ella wrote of Campese's performance for the Australian Under 21s against New Zealand, which occurred prior to Australia's second Test against Scotland in 1982:
- "Like a lot of other people, I first became aware that a promising young player named David Campese had arrived on the scene when he appeared in a curtain-raiser to a Test against Scotland at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1982. Campese was playing for the Australian under 21s against the New Zealand under 21s. I was a reserve that day for the Test, so I was in the dressing-room and did not watch the curtain-raiser myself, but I soon came to hear about it. Although Australia won the Test against Scotland handsomely, all the talk after the match was about the performance in the curtain-raiser by the fullback from Canberra. Everyone who watched Campese that day had been astonished by his ability."
1982 Bledisloe Cup Test Series
On the night of Australia's second Test against Scotland in 1982, ten Australian rugby players announced that for personal and business reasons they would not be available for the 1982 Australian tour to New Zealand, including Australia's premier winger Brendan Moon. Following this announcement, David Campese was selected for the Wallabies 1982 Tour to New Zealand.
In The Winning Way then Australian coach Bob Dwyer wrote, "I am not sure whether he [Campese] would have made the tour if Brendan Moon and the others had not pulled out, but even if he had he would have been a borderline choice and might have remained on the fringe of the team for much of the tour. Instead, he occupied centre-stage and performed brilliantly."
Following the Wallabies first tour match against Taranaki in New Plymouth, David Campese played his first game for the Wallabies against Manawatu. Rugby journalist Bret Harris in Ella, Ella, Ella reports that, "An electrifying runner, he shower promise of greater things to come when he left the defence lurching into space to score a brilliant, solo try." Campese played in the following game against Hawke's Bay at Napier and, two matches later, was chosen for his first Test.
In The Winning Way Dwyer writes that, "I certainly did not mark him down as someone liable to break into the Test side. Although [Brendan] Moon had withdrawn, two other wingers of proven ability were going on the New Zealand tour, Peter Grigg and Mick Martin... Campese played in a couple of the early tour matches, and as we approached the first Test a few of the senior players tried to advance his cause by telling me how much they admired him."
Former New Zealand All Blacks wing Stu Wilson writes in the tribute book David Campese that, "When asked by a television reporter if he was looking forward to mark Stu Wilson he replied, 'Stu who?'" Campese responded in the same book by replying that, "The story is true, but Stu misunderstood why I said it. I didn't say it because I was cocky. I said it because I honestly did not know who Stu Wilson was. I was a nineteen-year-old buy from Queanbeyan. My background had been in rugby league, not rugby union."
Australia 16 - New Zealand 23 (Christchurch - 14 August 1982)
An account of Campese's Test debut is given by Bob Dwyer in The Winning Way:
- "We picked him for the first Test, and on the very first occasion he touched a ball in Test rugby he found himself opposed one-on-one by Stu Wilson, then widely rated the number-one winger in the world, in the middle of Lancaster Park. Campese stood Wilson up and ran around him so easily that he might have been playing Test Rugby for years. He did it once or twice again before the match was over and on one occasion scored a try. I was enthused, and so was the media. They wrote of him in glowing terms next day... I don't believe I have ever lost the sense of wonder at his ability which I felt when I saw him run around Stu Wilson on Lancaster Park."
In his autobiography, On A Wing and a Prayer, Campese was quick to play down the significance of his success against Wilson, "I beat Stu Wilson, the All Black wing, a few times, on a couple of occasions by employing the goose-step. So much has been made of that fact over the years that it has been blown out of all proportion."
He added, "I had no discipline, was very young and wanted to do everything myself." Campese had, in fact, tried to pick up the ball with one hand in the first test and knocked on. Later he tried to change the ball in his hands when running towards defender, Allan Hewson, and dropped the ball. These were a testament to Campese's unpredictability. However, he did score his first international try in a significant fashion. Campese gathered a chip-kick from Mark Ella late in the game, signifying the beginning of a partnership that brought great success to Australia for years to come.
But Campese's opinions on his own performances were not shared by Wilson, stated that it was an honour to have played against Campese:
|“||He was good – without a doubt the most exciting talent we'd seen for years – and I'm saying, 'He's on my wing, I have to mark him.' . . . Well, for three Tests I tried but couldn't catch him . . . He had the goose-step, he had the chip and chase, he had the typical cockiness of all Australian backs. But we just couldn't get near him – he was that good . . . He made life hell for me for three tests.||”|
Campese was a significant part of a new Australian side trying to pioneer an exciting running game designed by backline specialist Bob Dwyer.
Australia 19 - New Zealand 16 (Wellington - 28 August 1982)
Two moments involving Campese are frequently cited in reports of the second Test against New Zealand at Athletic Park.
Australian outside centre Gary Ella scored a try after Campese handled the ball twice in the movement. In On a Wing and a Prayer Campese writes that, "We led at 19-3 half-time, having plundered a gale force wind in our favour in the first half at Athletic Park, Wellington. After two early Roger Gould penalty goals, I got through and found Mark Ella close by in support. Gould took it on, I backed him up and gave Gary Ella the scoring pass."
In Ella, Ella, Ella rugby journalist Bret Harris documents Gary Ella's try by writing that:
- "The Wallabies hopped to a 6-0 lead after 23 minutes of play following two penalty goals from Gould. But Australia burst clear when Campese, spinning like a top, stepped around Stu Wilson to initiate a dazzling attacking sequence. Campese twirled in-field and linked with Mark, who in turn found Gould on the boil. Campese darted around Gould and jigged towards the corner, but he was engulfed by the cover defence. Gary suddenly appeared from nowhere to accept the pass and score."
Before half-time Campese scored what rugby commentator Gordon Bray described as "one of the most stirring support tries in Test match history" and what rugby journalist Spiro Zavos called "one of rugby's greatest tries". Bray writes that, "More than half the Wallaby side handled in the movement, starting with Cox and Mark Ella. Then Gould, Grigg, Gary Ella, Hawker, Lucas and big Steve Williams all combined before Campo scooted over beside the posts. It was a knockout blow on half-time and gave the Australians a match-winning 19-3 lead."
Australia led New Zealand 19-3 at halftime. The full-time score was 19-16.
Australia 18 - New Zealand 33 (Auckland - 11 September 1982)
Campese played a central part in one of the biggest talking points of the third and final Test. In The Rise and Rise of Australian Rugby, Philip Derriman records that:
- "...the Wallabies held their lead and, shortly before half-time, they appeared...to have extended it. Campese made a break and passed to Andrew Slack who, in turn, passed to Steve Williams who, supported by Michael Hawker, went over the line right at the posts - not realising that an instant earlier the Scottish referee Alan Hosie had ruled back that Campese's pass was forward and called the play back. It proved to be the turning point of the match. The try would have pushed Australia to an 18-6 lead."
Australian players, such as Steve Williams and Mark Ella, insist that Campese's pass was not forward.
Simon Poidevin in For Love Not Money writes that, "At halftime we were leading 15-12 and it could have been 21-12 if a try equal in skill and drama to the Campese try at Wellington hadn't been disallowed for a forward pass."
The Australian team made a positive impression on the New Zealand public during the tour and Campese was among those celebrated for his entertaining style of play. The Wallabies set a scoring record for an Australian tour of New Zealand by scoring 316 points in 14 matches, including 47 tries. This surpassed the achievement of the 1972 Australian team, which scored 229 in 13 matches. Australian sportswriter Jack Pollard documented that Campese "scored eight tries in nine games, kicked four goals and two penalties for a total of 48 points."
New Zealand rugby journalist Terry McLean, writing in the New Zealand Herald wrote after the tour that "It would not to be too much to say that this was the most significant Wallaby team ever to tour New Zealand." He further praises Campese, saying that he "could side-step his way out of a sealed paper bag."
Regarding Campese's early impressions on New Zealand soil, former All Black breakaway Graham Mourie complimented him by saying:
|“||Campo came onto the scene as a very young player, and unknown player in that series, and I think gave Stu Wilson nightmares. I think Stuey got a bit of a towelling by Campo during that series. You know, he had one or two innovations: the old stutter step was something which nobody had really seen before . . . But I think Campo with his style and his speed and his flair was certainly a bit of an individual. He took us by surprise. Stu got a bit of stick for that because he was probably our star winger in that period. He'd been with the All Blacks from 1976, 1977, right through and was an outstanding winger. Stuey never got near Campo. I mean, Campo was exceptional.||”|
Australia 49 - United States 3 (Sydney - 9 July 1983)
Australia's first Test in 1983 was against the USA in Sydney, which was won 49-3. David Campese scored four tries in Australia's victory over the USA, equaling former Australian backrower Greg Cornelson's record for the most tries in a Test match for an Australian." In the first autobiography On a Wing and a Prayer Campese downplayed his achievment:
- "...I don't regard that as a great achievment; American rugby in those days was a long way removed from the New Zealand standard. The tries I had scored in the Tests against the All Blacks at Christchurch and Wellington the previous year made me infinitely more proud."
Peter Jenkins in Wallaby Gold writes that, "Campese, moved to fullback early in the second half with Roger Gould limping off injured, triggered the best of Australia's tries after collecting an American kick behind his own goal line. Veering left he launched a counter attack, the ball passed through six pairs of hands, including Campese's for a second touch, before flanker Chris Roche went over."
Australian coach Bob Dwyer praised Campese following the Test by stating that Campese did some "excellent things".
Australia 3 - Argentina 18 (Brisbane - 31 July 1983)
Following the Test against the United States, Australia played in a two Test home series against Argentina, which was drawn 1-1.
Australia were defeated by Argentina in the first Test, losing 3-18. Rugby journalist Bret Harris in Ella, Ella, Ella wrote that:
- "Dwyer's tactics relied heavily on the attacking brilliance of Australia's outside backs. He claimed Argentina would not see which way Campese, Moon and Gould went. But Porta employed percentage tactics, keeping the ball in front of the forwards and away from Australia's lethal backs. Australia was under so much pressure from the Argentinian forwards they failed to make use of the meagre possession they managed to win."
Australia's scrum was heavily criticised for being outperformed by the Argentine scrum.
Australia 29 - Argentina 13 (Sydney - 7 August 1983)
Following the first Test against Argentina, Australian fullback Roger Gould made himself unavailable due to a leg injury. Australian coach Bob Dwyer sought to replace Gould with Randwick fullback Glen Ella. Dwyer is recorded as saying, "I don't think there is a more devastating attacking player in the world than Campese, but Glen is a better positional player." However, Dwyer was outvoted by the Australian co-selectors, and Campese played his first Test at fullback for Australia.
Campese received praise for his debut performance at fullback in the second Test. Rugby journalist Bret Harris in Ella, Ella, Ella records that, "Campese performed so dazzlingly even Gould confessed to feeling a chill wind as he watched the match on television. He beat man after man every time he touched the ball."
Campese was involved in the biggest controversy of the Test, as Harris documents:
- "Welsh referee, Clive Norling, created a furore when he awarded a controversial penalty try to Australia midway through the first half. Australia was leading 6-3 when Campese launched a spectacular counter-attacking raid from his own quarter. Mark [Ella] loomed up beside him in support and skirted down the left touchline. As the cover defence closed in, Mark [Ella] threw a pass to Poidevin, but the ball was knocked down by Argentinian breakaway, Tomas Peterson. The crowd watched in confusion as Norling sprinted 25 metres to the Puma tryline to signal the penalty-try to Australia."
Harris records that, "Campese and Mark [Ella] combined in the second half to score the best try of the series. Mark intercepted a pass 20 metres from the Australian tryline and raced towards the halfway before floating a pass to Campese who had zoomed up like a rocket. Campese bamboozled the Argentine fullback, Bernado Miguens, with his goose-step and drew the curtain on a superb performance.""
In The Winning Way former Australian coach Bob Dwyer writes:
- "Campese's tries are a little like Don Bradman's centuries. Most were brilliant, but because there were so many of them they are not easy to single out. One Campese try which I do remember clearly was scored in the second Test against Argentina in 1983. Mark Ella picked up a loose ball in counter attack and passed it to Campese, who made a long run along the western touchline at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in front of the Members Pavilion. An Argentine defender had Campese well covered, but when he moved in to tackle him, Campese did his famous goose-step. The change of pace deceived the Argentine so comprehensively that he dived into touch, clutching thin air. The referee, the Welshman Clive Norling, was so impressed by this that he went up to Campese as soon as he had scored and told him it was the best try he had ever seen."
Australia 8 - New Zealand 18 (Sydney - 20 August 1983)
Australia played one Bledisloe Cup Test versus New Zealand in 1983, which was lost 8-18.
Campese continued to substitute for injured Australian fullback Roger Gould for Australia's one-off Bledisloe Cup Test for 1983 against New Zealand. Again, Australian coach Bob Dwyer recommended Randwick fullback Glen Ella for the fullback position in Gould's absence, but was overuled by his co-selectors. Campese was also given the goal-kicking duties for this Test.
Campese records in On a Wing and a Prayer that he "...missed four shots at goal from four attempts (two penalty goals and two conversions), and we lost 16-8, two tries to one in our favour, against the mighty All Blacks. I felt like kicking myself, but I would probably have missed."
This was in contrast to New Zealand's fullback Allan Hewson who managed five from six attempts at the goals. Bob Dwyer later said: "If we had been able to take even the conversion points it would have given us heart." Australian captain Mark Ella seriously contemplated replacing Campese and attempting the kicking duties himself, but he later reflected: "Who's to say I'd have done any better?"
Peter Jenkins in Wallaby Gold records that, "Campese did create one Australian try, running off the hip of centre Andrew Slack and into space before sending flanker Simon Poidevin on a weaving run to the line." Simon Poidevin in For Love Not Money writes that, "Campo broke through a set move from the backs to me, I saw the line open and went with everything I had. I saw the figure of Bernie Fraser coming at me, and though he got to me a metre out he wouldn't stop me and over I went."
Sports journalist Bret Harris, author of Ella, Ella, Ella criticised Campese's positional play at fullback, and praised New Zealand's backs, in particular All Black centre Steve Pokere, for their tactical kicking.
In My Game Your Game Campese defends his 'general play', but highlights this Test as his 'first bitter experience' playing rugby union at Test match level:
- "My first bitter experience was in 1983, when we played the All Blacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground in a one-off Bledisloe Cup game. My general play was fine, but we had gone into the game without a recognised goal-kicker. Our regular fullback Roger Gould was injured and yours truly was given the job. None out of four was the end result and the All Blacks won the Test 18–8, despite Australia scoring two tries to one. The press had a great time with that one.
Australia 29 - Italy 7 (Rovigo - 22 October 1983)
In 1983 the Australia rugby union team traveled to Europe for a Test against Italy and a two-Test series against France.
Incumbent Australian fullback Roger Gould aggravted a thigh injury prior to the Test against Italy. However, Campese was selected on the wing, and Randwick fullback Glen Ella was selected in his second Test for Australia at fullback.
Campese was assigned the goal-kicking duties against Italy. Peter Jenkins in Wallaby Gold writes that the Test "also marked a goal-kicking return of sorts for winger Campese, who celebrated his 21st birthday the previous night. He managed to land three conversions and a penalty after coach Dwyer had suggested he was on the kicking high-wire. 'If David starts well, he'll kick well all day,' Dwyer offered on Test eve. 'But conversely, if he starts badly, then that's the end of him.'"
Australia v France (1983)
Campese continued with the kicking responsibilities in a series against France, but played a diminished role in the games as Australia elected a less expansive style of play. The safety-first style of rugby was not one suited to maximise the capabilities of the tricky winger.
1984 Bledisloe Cup Test Series
Prior to the 1984 Bledisloe Cup Test Series, Australia played a Test against Fiji in Suva on 9 June 1984, in which Campese scored one try. Peter Jenkins writes that, "Forward power, one try through fullback David Campese, three penalty goals to Lynagh, and five-eighth Mark Ella chipping in with a drop goal, ensued a comfortable win. Sports journalist Bret Harris documents that Campese's try came from Mark Ella "looping around Lynagh to link with Slack, who sent Campese flying for the corner.".
1st Test: Australia 16 - New Zealand 9 (Sydney - 21 July 1984)
David Campese was selected, along with Mark Ella, to share the goal-kicking responsibility for the first Test against New Zealand in 1984. Rugby writer Peter Jenkins records in Wallaby Gold that, "Even wayward goal-kicking by winger Campese, who missed three attempts while Ella landed two from five, did not, on this occasion, prove crucial."
2nd Test: Australia 15- New Zealand 19 (Brisbane - 4 August 1984)
Rugby writer Peter Jenkins writes in Wallaby Gold that, "New Zealand fullback Robbie Deans kicked five penalty goals to put the All Blacks in front, including one after referee Roger Quittenton ruled Campese had taken Deans high in a tackle. Quinttenton later admitted he had made a mistake."
Rugby journalist Terry Smith wrote that, "The fifth [penalty] was the result of a horrific decision by England's Roger Quittenton... a referee who penalised David Campese for a head-high tackle as he attempted to wrap up Deans ball-and-all around the chest. Quittenton later admitted to Campese that he'd made a mistake, and added the incredible postscript that it hadn't affected the result."
3rd Test: Australia 24 - New Zealand 25 (Sydney - 18 August 1984)
Rugby journalist Terry Smith wrote that, "It wasn't until just before half-time in the third Test that Campese got his first chance of the series to run at the New Zealanders. He swept past Craig Green and Robbie Deans in bewildering fashion to conjure a try out of nothing." Smith further recorded that, "I saw Jones's half-time notes telling his players to stick to the game plan of moving the ball wide to wingers Campese and Brendan Moon whenever possible. His words fell on deaf ears."
Bryce Rope, coach of the New Zealand side that toured Australia in 1984, is quoted by rugby journalist Terry Smith in Path to Victory as saying that, "If David Campese had been given more opportunity out wide, there's no saying the damage he could have done.'
Years later, Rope recalled that denying Campese opportunities was a crucial component of the All Blacks victory. In The Rise and Rise of Australian Rugby he recalls that:
- "I still class that Australian backline as one of the finest I ever had against us when I was coaching the All Blacks. Our tactics were to get at Ella. Mark Ella was vital to the Wallabies and he was a thorn in our side. I found him a most difficult player to follow - I think sometimes even Mark didn't know what he was doing. He had this natural ability to prop and weave and kick off either foot and he could run the blind exceptionally well. He was the one you had to watch all the time. We put this pincer on him. We did bottle Ella in that Test and we left Michael Hawker getting bad ball from Ella and that's where we really did the damage, in that midfield, by slowing down Mark Ella and pinning Hawker, which didn't give Andrew Slack any chance to do much out at centre. Campese was nonexistent, really, in that game, because the ball wasn't getting to him. We did our job at nullifying them and it worked."
1984 Grand Slam
Australia successfully completed the "Grand Slam" with the side which included Campese as well as Mark Ella, Nick Farr-Jones and Michael Lynagh. As of 2015 the 1984 series remains the only time the Wallabies have completed the Grand Slam.
Australia 19 - England 3 (London - 3 November 1984)
The Wallabies had a nervy start in the game against England, the first international test of the Grand Slam tour. Campese almost scored early on by chasing a high kick from Michael Lynagh. Australia settled later on after tries from Ella and Lynagh, before Campese was to make a break down the left leading to a gem of a try. Nick Farr-Jones had received the ball coming from the line-out, who in turn passed the ball to Roger Gould who threw a long wayward pass, which Mark Ella astoundingly caught while running and leaning forward at the same time displaying his safe hands. Finding the English defence lacking in numbers, Ella passed to Campese who was off trying to out-sprint English winger Rory Underwood. Ella was quick to run in support, but was marked by English debutant Stuart Barnes. Running out of space and about to be bundled into touch, Campese lofted a pass to Simon Poidevin, who scored the final try. Australia won 19–3.
Australia 16 - Ireland 9 (Dublin - 10 November 1984)
Three moments involving Campese are frequently cited in reports on Australia's Test against Ireland in 1984.
In Victorious Wallabies Terry Cooper reports that:
- "...Australia squandered an opportunity to build on their lead. Campese sliced open the Irish defence and left Simon Poidevin and [Matthew] Burke with a classic two-to-one position. All Poidevin had to do was deliver the ball. He did so, after giving little hint that he wanted to beat MacNeill on his own. As he instinctively floated the pass... Burke had perpetrated a major crime - he had got ahead of the ball-carrier on the end of a scoring pass. He darted over the line and was inevitably recalled for a forward pass."
In For Love Not Money former Australian flanker Simon Poidevin recalls that, "Campo made a sensational midfield break, gave to me and [Matthew] Burke loomed up alongside me with their fullback Hugo MacNeill the only guy to beat. Burke was on my right, my bad passing side, and as I drew MacNeill I somehow threw the ball forward to him."
In Victorious Wallabies Terry Cooper further recalls that:
"Nineteen minutes left... Australia went into overdrive and came within a fingernail of regaining the lead immediately. Ella kicked to Ireland's line and Campese's attempt to touch down was foiled by an unkind bounce."
In Path to Victory Mark Ella writes regarding the Test-winning try that he scored, involving Campese:
- "I don't know what happened to the Irish breakaways, but when Michael Lynagh slipped inside his centre, I gave him the ball. Noddy went through the gap and I trailed round the back to get myself outside winger David Campese. Slacky was taken out of the play, but Matthew Burke had come from the other wing to link with Lynagh. Campo took Burke's pass and went inside with a big step. He took a couple of guys with him. Then he stepped out... Sometimes it's hard to get the ball off Campo, but he saw I was free and gave it to me."
Rugby journalist Cooper further depicts Ella's Test-winning try:
"The only try of the game with five minutes to go and was truly worthy of winning a Test match. Farr-Jones launched Ella after Steve Cutler had achieved crisp line-out possession...Ella flipped the ball to Lynagh and the Irish defence prepared for the loop move. Instead Lynagh accelerated. Andy Slack was illegally taken out of the game and Lynagh was grateful to find Burke appear from the right wing in this leftwards movement. Campese took Burke's pass and had a glimpse of the line. When he realised that he could not quite make the line, he cleverly lured the final two tacklers towards him, leaving Ella free to accept the final passon the outside. Ella crossed unchallenged."
Australia 28 - Wales 9 (Cardiff - 24 November 1984)
When discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the then Australian coach, Alan Jones, Campese has often remarked of his attention to detail, his obsession of knowing everything about the opposition, and being able to exploit what may be a potential weakness in the opposition. He often uses the example of the Welsh game from 1984 to prove this. Jones had learned through his sources, that Eddie Butler, the Welsh number 8, had not played a game for three weeks and felt Australia should utilise the blind-side. "As a tactician, one of Jones' strong points was his ability to spot opposition weaknesses." Campese wrote in his tribute book David Campese,
- "Before we played Wales in 1984, he suggested he play the blinds. He had noticed the Welsh number 8, Eddie Butler, had not played for three weeks and he had a hunch he would not be fit. So the first chance I got I went down the blind side and from that we scored under the posts."
As Australian number 8 Steven Tuynman took the ball from the back of the scrum, he searched for Nick Farr-Jones, utilising the blind under Jones' command. Farr-Jones occupied Campese opposite winger and passed the ball to him, allowing Campese to run along the left wing. At the start of his run, Campese went past Butler, who was unable to make the defending tackle. But Campese's run was not over yet, he swerved past the Welsh fullback, and executed a wonderful sidestep to get past the Welsh inside center. Campese's sidestep led him toward a group of defenders, so he then offloaded to Simon Poidevin, who quickly passed the ball to Michael Lynagh who scored an easy try under the post. Australia won 28–9 in one of their greatest victories at the time.
Peter Jenkins in Wallaby Gold writes that, "Farr Jones helped create another try by using the short side. Campese made a superb run, Poidevin backed up and Lynagh touched down.""
Terry Cooper records in Victorious Wallabies that:
- "Australia's second try also came from a blind-side break. Farr-Jones again escaped after a scrum and he gave Campese room to move. The winger took off on a spectacular diagonal run towards the Welsh goal. His speed and unexpected direction created a massive overlap. The Welsh suddenly looked as though they had only ten players in action and all Australia had to do was to transfer the ball carefully. They did so. Campese to Poidevin and then on to Lynagh, who scored between the posts."
Terry Smith in Path to Victory wrote that, "Lynagh's second try came after Farr-Jones again escaped up the blind side from a scrum to set up a dazzling break by David Campese. Simon Poidevin's backing up didn't happen by accident either. He always tries to trail Campese on the inside.
Australia 37 - Scotland 12 (Murrayfield - 8 December 1984)
Campese scored two tries in the Test against Scotland - the first tries Campese scored at Test level on the 1984 Tour to the United Kingdom.
Campese's counter-attacking was on display early in the Test. Terry Cooper writes that, "Australia were keen to bring David Campese into the action in the first minutes and he gave Scotland a scare with one of his diagonal runs. He saw Ella in support and a try looked on when Peter Grigg came bustling up to join the attack, but Ella's pass to Grigg was forward."
Terry Smith in Path to Victory documents Campese's first try by writing that, "Australia won a scrum and Ella missed out Lynagh as Gould came thundering into the line to suck in the Scottish cover, exactly as planned. Slack ran on to Gould's pass and released David Campese with a wonderfully judged long feed." Terry Cooper in Victorious Wallabies documents Campese's first try by writing that:
- "Australia reclaimed the advantage in the 15th minute. They won a scrum 20 metres from Scotland's line. There was a big inviting open side on both sides of the scrum... Ella found Gould driving through from full back and Gould's quick transfer to Slack meant that the captain only had to find Campese for a certain try. It was not easy, for Campese had made his run very wide. But Slack successfully hurled the ball across the pitch to his wing, who trotted in at the corner."
Early in the second half, Australian fullback Roger Gould had the chance to pass to Campese for a possible try. Terry Cooper writes that, "There was Gould once more making the play and he had a choice of two colleagues to pass to as he approached Scotland's line. He chose Ella, the inside man. Ella's try meant that he had achieved the unique distinction of scoring a try in every Test."
Peter Jenkins in Wallaby Gold writes that, "A superb Wallaby counter attack from deep inside their own territory, after winger Grigg had taken an intercept, ended with Campese scoring his second try of the game."
Toward the end of the game Campese booted the ball downfield. Australia's other winger, Peter Grigg, missed a tackle, allowing Scotland a possible chance to counter-attack. Grigg ran back toward the play, and intercepted the ball from Sottish prop Iain Milne. Rugby writer Terry Cooper writes that from this point:
- Grigg intercepted and ran back briefly towards his own line to link with his colleagues and to clear the onrushing Scots... It was obvious from the stand as soon as Ella received the ball that, provided Campese and Steve Tuynman could exchange passes out on the left, a try was on... Ella gave Campese room and Tuynman hung about waiting to play his part. Campese drew the last serious defender to him, flicked the ball to Tuynman and moved into place for the return. It worked like a dream and there was Campese with half the pitch to run and only John Beattie near him. Beattie did well to stay the same three metres behind Campese as they hurtled down the touchline, but there was never a doubt that Campese would score...Campese's effort won the try-of-the-tour award from the brewers.
Terry Smith in Path to Victory writes that:
- "The final Wallaby try was the counterattack to top them all. With Scotland now casting any inhibitions aside, winger Peter Grigg intercepted a pass deep in Australia's territory on the right... Grigg found Ella, whose long pass was taken by Campese, and fed out to Tuynman on the left flank. The No 8 broke clear and tossed a pass back infield to Campese, who blazed away to outpace the covering John Beattie in a sixty-metre sprint."
in the tribute book David Campese, Scottish rugby commentator Bill McLaren recalls Campese's try against Scotland:
- "So it was in Edinburgh, where in 1984 he had brought the Murrayfield crowd to its feet with a vintage performance culminating in a typically gorgeous try, that I caused him some embarrassment by thanking him for the vast pleasure he had given me in commentary at matches in which he had been involved."
Australia 37 - Barbarians 30 (Cardiff - 18 December 1984)
Australia played against the Barbarians one week after winning the Grand Slam. That match is perhaps best remembered for David Campese's zig-zagging run that turned Welsh centre Robert Ackerman inside out in the process, before Campese, opting not to run past Ackerman in the process of confounding him, but rather offered himself to be tackled before passing the ball to Michael Hawker for a try.
Campese and Ackerman had encountered a few personal scrapes with one another during different moments of their careers. Ackerman had previously played club rugby in Canberra not long before the Barbarians game, and according to Mark Ella in his book, Running Rugby, the two men did not get along with each other. After the Wallabies 1984 win against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park, Campese claimed Ackerman had buried his head in the dirt during the game, adding to a sense of tension between the two.
This tension further increased between the two, as Ackerman bumped into David Campese, Michael Lynagh and then Australian coach, Alan Jones, as they were entering the Angel Hotel in Cardiff. Ackerman walked up to the Wallabies coach and said in the presence of the two Australian backs, after Australia had beaten Wales 28–9, "Congratulations, I didn't think your backs were too good today."
In On a Wing and a Prayer Campese recalls that, "That very night in Cardiff, only hours after we had flogged Wales 28-9, their players turned up at the after-match dinner and one of them, Robert Ackerman, said: 'You can't say your players are better individually than ours. Man on man, there is little difference'."
Alan Jones described Campese's run in the tribute book David Campese by writing that:
- In particular, I shall never forget the Barbarians game at Cardiff Arms Park to end our Grand Slam tour of 1984. We weren't in such good shape – our discipline had surrendered to celebration after beating Scotland and we knew this was to be Europe's game of retribution against us. We seemed to be constantly counter-attacking to get out of trouble and then Campese struck. He made a break from within his own half, the defence came at him and he stepped left and right with remarkable speed. And in the twinkling of an eye, the try line was his. But he had one defender to beat, the Welsh centre Robert Ackerman. Ackerman, unfortunately, had criticised the Australian victory after our crushing victory in the Test against Wales and Campo didn't have the words to retaliate then. But he retaliated now, with his feet and hands. He turned Ackerman inside out, threatening to go past, then changing direction, offering himself to be tackled then accelerating away until the crowd erupted, first in disbelief, then in sheer amusement and joy at what they were seeing. One yard from the line, Campo passed to Michael Hawker, and I'm sure, to this day, the pass was forward, but the referee knew he had seen artistry of incomparable dimension at work and the only reward he could offer was a try, which he duly did. It's an image I'll always associate with Campese. It remains for me the metaphor of his career.
In Running Rugby Mark Ella described famous run against the Barbarians:
- If Campese wanted to, I am sure he could have sprinted for the corner and scored the try. Instead, he ran straight at Ackerman. The Welshman obviously knew enough about Campese to realise it was useless to try and tackle him front-on. Instead, he did what I suggested earlier that any defender should do against Campese – he ran with him. It was then that Campese began to zigzag, forcing Ackerman to zigzag, too, looking over one shoulder after another to see which way Campese was heading. I was following about 20 metres behind and could not believe what was happening. I have no doubt that Campese turned it on to make a personal point with Ackerman. When the defence eventually closed in on him, Campese flicked a pass over his shoulder to Michael Hawker, who scored the try.
In an Australia Broadcast Corporation rugby documentary entitled, The Rise and Rise of Australian Rugby, Ackerman admitted Campese could have passed him at any stage if he wanted to:
- "My line of thinking was is all I was trying to do in that time was to stall him. At the end of the day if he wanted to Campo could have just burnt me off on the outside. But I was just looking for a bit of cover and as it happened I did stall him and he didn't score that one. I was the player he made a fool of if anybody needs to remember."
Campese received praise for other moments in this game. Rugby writer Terry Cooper wrote that,
- "[Mark] Ella initiated one [try] by running from near his own line and David Campese toyed with Rob Ackerman in a 50 metre surge before giving [Michael] Hawker a scoring pass. Ella and Campese again linked and Campese this time sent Roger Gould over. The crowd were angered by what looked a forward pass from Ella to Campese and the referee was certainly not in the mood to spot a bit of obstruction as to move reached its climax."
Campese finished the 1984 Tour to the United Kingdom with six tries, two of them scored at Test level against Scotland.
Australia commenced their 1985 Test season with a two-Test series against Canada, in which Campese did not play due to injury." Campese also did not play in the single Bledisloe Cup Test in 1985, lost 9-10 to New Zealand. In Path to Victory former Australian rugby player Mark Ella wrote that, "Without David Campese, our backs seemed to have forgotten how to score tries."
Australia v Fiji (1985)
Campese returned to the Australian Test side later in 1985 for a two-Test series against Fiji. Australia won the first Test 52-28 and the second Test 31-9. In Path to Victory Mark Ella writes that, "Fiji's stand-out player is winger Senivalati Laulau, who can be devastating when he gets the ball. He looks ancient and probably is, but he's very fast and always gives David Campese a hard time. This says a lot for Laulau's ability.""
Australia 39 - Italy 18 (Brisbane - 1 June 1986)
Campese scored two tries against Italy in Australia's first Test of the 1986 season, with what rugby writer Terry Smith in Path to Victory described as "probably his most complete display in Australia's colours."
Australia 27 - France 14 (Sydney - 21 June 1986)
Australia's won their second Test of 1986 against Five Nations champions France, 27-14. Campese was moved to fullback for the injured Roger Gould in a one-off game against France, scoring a try in the 26th minute."
Australia v Argentina (1986)
Campese continued to play at fullback in Australia's 1986 two-Test home series against Argentina, substituting for the injured Australian fullback Roger Gould.
Rugby writer Peter Jenkins in Wallaby Gold writes that, "David Campese ensured he would start the series against New Zealand in his favoured fullback role when he scored two of Australia's three tries in a whitewash of the Pumas. Deputising in the No.15 jumper for the sixth time in 24 Tests, Campese's running from deep had Argentina running scared. His first try followed a tight-head scrum win, snaffled by hooker Tom Lawton in the 22nd minute. Farr-Jones and Lynagh combined, and Campese crossed out wide... And midway through the second half, Farr-Jones fired a pass to Papworth, Campese arrived at top pace and was over next to the posts."
Rugby writer Terry Smith in Path to Victory writes that, "David Campese scored two slashing tries from fullback, the second quite sensationally executed. Campese hit the line like an express train and swept past the Pumas as though he had caught a succession of green lights. It was his sixth try in four Tests with four of them from fullback."
With Campese scoring tries at an amazing rate and providing Australia with a string of dazzling performances, Australian coach Alan Jones proclaimed David Campese to be "the Bradman of rugby". Jones expressed that Campese had a very special talent, and nobody in rugby had more talent. Jones' proclamation was well documented by the Australia media, and ultimately had a detrimental effect on Campese. As the weight of expectation grew, so too did the criticisms for any mistake Campese made.
1986 Bledisloe Cup Test Series
Campese toured with the 1986 Australian Wallaby side that defeated the New Zealand All Blacks in New Zealand. The 1986 Australian Wallabies became the second Australian rugby team to beat New Zealand in New Zealand in a rugby union Test series. They remain one of five rugby union sides to win a rugby Test series in New Zealand, along with the 1937 South African Springboks, the 1949 Australian Wallabies, the 1971 British and Irish Lions, and the 1994 French touring side.
Campese played fullback in the first two Tests of the 1986 Test series versus New Zealand, before being moved to wing in the final Test.
1st Test: Australia 13 - New Zealand 12 (Wellington - 9 August 1986)
Three moments involving David Campese are frequently recorded in reports of the first Test against New Zealand in 1986. Rugby journalist Terry Smith records in Path to Victory that:
- "In spite of having the wind advantage, it took twenty-two minutes for Australia to break the spirited All Black defensive line with a try by fullback David Campese, his twentieth in twenty-five Tests. From a scrum win, Nick Farr-Jones made a glorious break on the open side, stumbled, and when tackled, Campese was there with razor-sharp reactions to toe the ball over the line and dive on it for a try that gave Lynagh a simple conversion."
Peter Jenkins in Wallaby Gold recalls that, "Halfback Farr-Jones made a break but lost his footing. The ball went to ground and fullback David Campese toed it ahead to touch down." He then further adds that "...Farr-Jones and inside centre Brett Papworth combined to feed Campese, who held up his pass to put winger Matthew Burke across for a 13-6 advantage."
Jenkins documents Campese's involvement in Australia's second try in Wallaby Gold by writing that, "From Farr-Jones, the ball spun to Brett Papworth, then to Campese, who held up the pass until winger John Kirwan was lured infield from Burke. Campese then tossed the ball to Burke, who pulled it in to have a clear run to the corner."
Campese, having scored one try and created another, had a significant role in the third, this time for the All Blacks. His infield pass when tackled near halfway finished in the arms of All Black centre Joe Stanley. He swept downfield and, when taken by Lynagh, slipped a pass to flanker Mark Brooke-Cowden for the try."
Terry Smith in Path to Victory also records this incident:
- Campese quickly went from hero to villain. Standing in a tackle near the sideline, he threw a madcap pass infield which was snapped up by Joe Stanley, the All Black centre. He sped clear before being pulled down short of the line in a desperate tackle by Lynagh. The damage had been done. Stanley popped up a pass to breakaway Mark Brooke-Cowden, who capped a superlative game by scoring a try beside the posts.
Philip Derriman in The Rise and Rise of Australian Rugby records that, "Australia scored two tries to one, and Campese scored one of them. He also made an error which allowed the New Zealanders in for their only try, prompting Alan Jones to joke that this was the Test 'where Campo scored two tries - one for us and one for them.'
Following the Test Australian coach Australian Jones said of Campese that, "By scoring a try and setting up another, Campese more than cancelled out his late blemish." Jones went public with an assurance that Campese would be fullback for the remaining two Tests. A day following the first Test Campese is recorded as saying that, "I still feel sick about that pass. It was the worst moment of my life. I'll never forget the looks on the faces of the other guys."
Terry Smith records in Path to Victory that
- Instinctive genius Campese then volunteered he once had been told if ever he started thinking what he was going to do before he took the field, he should retire. 'I was thinking too much before the Test,' he admitted. 'I listened to everybody. Then I went out simply to be rock-safe and not make a mistake'
- Narked by constant claims that Campese is better suited to the wing, Jones shot back: 'New Zealanders are trying to get into Campo's mind. They want him to feel flawed and erratic when he plays fullback.'
Alan Jones writes in the tribute book David Campese that:
- ...he had a habit of adding to the script. It was the very quality which, most times, defined his greatness. But on this occasion, my heart leapt and our collective hopes sank as Campo hurled a 'Hail Mary' pass inside to be intercepted by New Zealand who scored under the posts. Suddenly a winning lead and victory were both at peril, but we survived. The next night at happy hour with the team, we had a concert where everybody had to put on an act. Steve Cutler chose a Wallabies' version of Sale of the Century and the first question was 'Who scored two tries at Eden Part on Saturday?' Now at first no-one did, because the score was 13-12 to us. But Cuts' answer was 'Campo. He scored one for us and one for them."
2nd Test: Australia 12 - New Zealand 13 (Dunedin - 23 August 1986)
In the second test Campese played what he felt was a poor game at fullback by dropping a few high bombs on a wet and dreary day. This led to some controversy as Campese claimed that Australia coach, Alan Jones, had made an insulting remark about him behind his back by telling his teammates after the game, "Don't worry, fellows, you played without a fullback today." This reportedly occurred behind while Campese was in the showers (Campese was often the first player to hit the showers). In his book, For Love Not Money, former Wallaby Simon Poidevin refutes such claims by Campese, "Tales of Jonsey screaming at Campese in the dressing-room immediately after the game for the poor way he played that afternoon was absolute nonsense. Nothing at all was said by anyone for nearly three-quarters of an hour, and the only noise I can recall was that of tough men openly sobbing from disappointment."
Campese, with his delicate sensitivities, was upset at hearing what had allegedly happened. In his autobiography On A Wing and a Prayer, Campese asserts he later tried to apologise to Jones for his unintentional mistake, which resulted in a verbal barrage of insults from Jones which lasted many minutes. In Nick Farr-Jones' autobiography, Nick Farr-Jones, an account is given of Farr-Jones overhearing Jones' verbal barrage before attempting to pacify the situation, "Farr-Jones happened to be passing soon after Campese had gone in, and could hear snatches of Jones' words, no less forceful for having to penetrate the door. 'You've let me down,' he remembers Jones saying. 'I told the press you were the Bradman of rugby and now you've done this to me… I simply don't understand how you could play like that… you made a complete fool of yourself…' Etcetera." Farr-Jones eventually entered the room to defuse the situation.
Campese became dejected and sullen soon after, predicting he had played his last game at fullback for Australia. A few hours after his attempted apology, Campese declared to his close friend, Mark Ella, that he was now ready to retire from rugby. Ella, a close friend of Campese, insisted Campese continue to play rugby. Gordon Bray wrote in the tribute book David Campese, "The world's rugby enthusiasts can be grateful that Mark Ella consoled his teammate that night."
Alan Jones refuted the accusations of slander saying, "That's just rubbish. I'm sure I've said to someone with a smile on my face we played without a fullback today. And I'm sure it was Campo, after he's probably done one or two bad things and 15 good things. It would be like telling Miss World she was the ugliest person in the room when she knows full she's the best looking bird who's ever set foot in the building. But it wasn't that day. That wasn't the day for that sort of stuff. But it doesn't matter. It's part of the folklore of the whole deal and it's one man's word against another's."
3rd Test: Australia 22 - New Zealand 9 (Auckland - 6 September 1986)
Australian coach Alan Jones selected Campese on the wing for the final test instead of fullback. This Test marked the first time David Campese opposed All Black winger John Kirwan. Kirwan had missed the 1984 Bledisloe series due to injury. Campese had missed the 1985 Bledisloe Cup Test due to injury.
Peter Jenkins in Wallaby Gold writes that, "A try to Campese sealed one of the greatest Wallaby wins." In Nick Farr-Jones former Wallaby and author Peter Fitzsimons writes that:
- "With seven minutes to go in the game, Farr-Jones took the ball from a quick ruck, darted away, and threw Campese a fifteen-metre pass, which set him up to run twenty metres to score, and put the Wallabies thirteen points ahead with five minutes to go. The match was sealed with the final score of Australia 22, New Zealand 9, and in the jubilations of it all Farr-Jones picked Campese up in the in-goal and put him over his shoulders."
In Path to Victory Mark Ella wrote: "It was good to see David Campese get that last try because by now he had no confidence at all. He was absolutely shot to pieces. It doesn't really matter in what position Campo plays as long as he sees the ball. It could be wing or it could be fullback. Nobody's going to argue he shouldn't be in the side. The main thing is to build up his confidence, and this can't be done if Campo is just going to chase all day and not see the ball."
In Two Mighty Tribes Australian rugby commentator Gordon Gray wrote that, "...to his great credit, he kept his eye firmly on the ball and eventually scored the Bledisloe Cup-clinching try in the third test at Eden Park. It was a measure of his self-belief and pride, and it demonstrated to the broader rugby community that his was not just another frail talent. There was strength of character to stiffen the extravagant skills."
World Cup woes
On the back of this achievement, the Wallabies were the favourites for the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987. An injury impeded Campese's campaign and Australia's hopes were dashed with a semi-final loss to a Serge Blanco-inspired France, though Campese did score and take the world record for tries in the process.
Australia entered a slump after the World Cup and suffered heavy defeats in the Bledisloe Cup and in 1988 Campese's opposite number John Kirwan gave him a runaround on many occasions, a mauling that severely affected his confidence. Campese capped off the year scoring five tries in a European tour.
1988 Australian Tour to Europe
Campese recovered from his disappointing 1988 Bledisloe Cup Series to enjoy one of his finest ever tours in Europe in late 1988. In My Game Your Game Campese wrote that, "When I think back over my Test career, it seems most of my best performances have been outside Australia, such as the World Cup of 1991 in Britain, the Wallaby tour of the UK in 1988, and the Grand Slam trip in 1984.
Australia 19 - England 28 (London - 5 November 1988)
Campese played in a shock-loss to England at Twickenham in 1988. Jenkins writes that, "Australia scored three tries to England's four - including a 70-metre intercept effort from Campese..."
Australia 32 - Scotland 13 (Edinburgh - 19 November 1988)
Campese scored two tries in a 32-13 victory over the Scottish rugby team, in which Australia scored five tries to Scotland's two.
Former Wallaby captain Andrew Slack, author of former Australian flyhalf Michael Lynagh's autobiography Noddy, wrote that, "Australia won 32-13 and although Lynagh was successful with only five kicks from eleven attempts, two delicate chip kicks provided tries for David Campese and ensured the restoration of Australia's rugby reputation."  Slack further wrote that, "Campese had been the undoubted star of the tour, and that was made clear by the four youngsters who ran up and down the Murrayfield pitch after the game waving a large banner reading 'David Campese Walks on Water.' 
Australia 40 - 22 Barbarians (Cardiff - 26 November 1988)
In Michael Lynagh's autobiography Noddy, Andrew Slack wrote that, "The match against the Barbarians in Cardiff featured one of Campese's greatest-ever performances and the Welsh crowd afforded him the rare honour of a standing ovation as he left the field. The Australian players were similarly impressed and held back after the full-time whistle to allow Campese the chance to walk off first...
In the tribute book David Campese, Campese's try against the Barbarians is listed as the try Campese regards "as his best try in international rugby."  In the same book Scottish rugby commentator Bill McLaren wrote that:
- "There was another ovation, just as deafening, at Cardiff Arms Park in 1988 at the climax of the traditional end-of-tour Barbarians match. David Campese capped an exhilarating Australian performance with a gem of a try when he glided outside Gavin Hastings, swept inside Matt Duncan then, with a feint off his right foot and one off his left foot, he left Jonathan Davies trailing in his wake before dotting down behind the posts. It was a masterpiece of deceptive running and it brought from the Cardiff Arms Park audience the most moving acknowledgment of sheer wizardry that I can ever remember. The ovation lasted for ages and I can remember my own reaction: 'Sheer Genius from the moment he received the ball. The great swashbuckler has rung down the curtain with the touch of a magician.'"
In My Game Your Game Campese wrote that:
- "We went down the blindside, Nick Farr-Jones got the ball, gave it to Lloyd Walker and he gave it to Michael Cook. Cookie threw it to me, and along the way, I remember running wide to beat Gavin Hastings, then stepping off my left foot because I saw Jonathon Davies coming across in cover. I went back off my right foot to pass him and eventually scored under the posts. As I headed back to halfway, the other boys in the team started clapping. I think Michael Cook had started it all, and I joined in because I thought it had been great work by all the team.... The crowd were on their feet, and a lot was made of that later. They said it was the first standing ovation accorded a foreign player since the Arms Park sang 'He's a jolly good fellow' to the former All Black captain Wilson Whineray back in 1963."
In Wallaby Gold Peter Jenkins wrote that Campese's "brilliance was accorded a standing ovation at Cariff Arms Park after the Wallabies played the Barbarians in their final match of the UK leg. His bewildering run for a solo try, where defenders were turned in circles so many times that staggered dizzily back to position, has been scripted into the folklore of the once-famous ground..."
Australia 55 - Italy 6 (Rome - 3 December 1988)
Campese concluded the Australian Wallabies 1988 Tour to Europe with three tries against Italy in Rome.
In the 1989 series against the British and Irish Lions, which Australia were expected to win, Campese gifted a soft try to the Lions in the third test when he recklessly tried to run the ball from his own try line. This resulted in the Lions winning the test as well as the series.
The part of the pitch where Campese lost the ball became known as "Campo's Corner". The patch of turf at the Paddington end of the Sydney Football Stadium, on the eastern side of the ground, where a wayward pass gave the Lions a try and catapulted Campese into controversy. The event itself was Campese's career low point for which he is still criticised to this day.[when?]
The Australian side had never won a series against the Lions at the time, and there was a general feeling amongst the Australian players that was about to change. Australia defeated the Lions easily in the first match, by utilising the boot of Michael Lynagh to make the Lions forwards run around the paddock. Campese however, played a diminished role in the win due to these tactics, a trend that continued for much of the series. Australia lost the second game in a violent affair, leaving the series tied at 1–1, and set the stage for the horrific moment that is often associated with Campese's fallibility.
Australia had struggled to a 12–9 lead early in the second half of the third game when Lions five-eighth Rob Andrew missed with an attempted dropped goal. At that point, the game was being decided between the boots of Michael Lynagh and the Lions' Gavin Hastings. Campese had hardly seen the ball when he caught the ball in his in-goal and started off with a mind to counterattack. He was immediately confronted by Lions winger Ieuan Evans before throwing a loose pass to fullback Greg Martin, who was completely unaware of Campese's surprising intentions. The ball struck Martin on the shoulder and bounced away. Evans, who had the mere job of falling on the ball, played the opportunist to score in a moment of complete disaster.
There was a sense of horror about what Campese had just done. Standard procedure on such an occasion is to simply ground the ball in the in-goal, which would have allowed Australia to restart play twenty-two metres downfield. With his tremendous boot, Campese could also have run the ball out of the in-goal and simply booted the ball far downfield and into touch. Rather than playing the percentages, Campese had failed in a seemingly mindless and illogical attempt to do something creative. However, Jack Pollard, author of Australian Rugby: The Game And The Players, always maintained that Campese's idea that day was a good one. Pollard happened to be sitting adjacent to where the incident occurred, so he had a good view of it. He said that the Lions' defence on that side of the field was under-manned and that there was a real opportunity for a counterattack, which Campese obviously recognised. If Martin had taken the pass, Pollard said, Australia might have scored instead of the Lions. So in Pollard's view it was a clever move – just poorly executed. "It was my fault because I tried to step inside and pass at once, thinking that Evans would come with me," Campese wrote in his autobiography On a Wing and a Prayer. "In fact, when I passed, he was in between me and Martin, and when I threw such a hopeless pass he had a simple job in touching it down…. I still think the idea was perfectly sound, it was just that the execution was wrong."
Campese was devastated as Australia ended up losing 18–19 and thus lost the series. Campese's state of mind was not helped by an after match snubbing by his team mates. According to Campese, none of his team mates spoke to him in the dressing room or offered a word of consolation. Many of them gave him solemn stares leaving the impression of what they thought of him.
While Campese was widely blamed for losing the test and the series, coach Bob Dwyer said after the match: "I don't think that try cost us the game at all."[this quote needs a citation] The Australians were beaten in the forwards, unable to control a Lions pack spearheaded by backrowers Mike Teague and Dean Richards, prop David Sole and second rower Paul Ackford. The Australians were under pressure in the scrum, losing one with feed on the opposition line, and on several occasions were stripped of the ball at the breakdown. Campese stated he felt the whole incident was blown out of proportion, and that to single out one mistake in a game where many mistakes can be made is silly. Campese has often expressed his view that losing the tighthead on the opposition line was also a horrible mistake made at a crucial moment. Bob Dwyer has, in fact, in the past singled out the '89 Lions tour as a series which revealed an attitude in the Australian forwards which could be deemed "too soft". In essence, Campese's famous blunder may have been how the Lions series was lost, but not necessarily why.
The criticisms aimed at Campese after Campo's Corner were unrelenting in the ongoing weeks and months. Members of the Australian media and former Australian players called for his sacking. As a man who enjoyed the media spotlight, Campese felt a deep sense of offence that the media he had become accustomed to, no longer sought the Campese interview or his opinion, but were more content with criticising him. Former Australian captain, Andrew Slack, publicly blasted Campese in the papers. Slack criticised Campese's time spent in Italy, claiming he had become ill-disciplined as a result of his time spent there. Slack referred to Campese's pass as "Spaghetti rugby". Australian rugby writer Greg Campbell queried if Campo was now a 'legend of liability'. Campese commented to Gordon Bray, the day after his mistake that he once again felt like retiring.
Campese gave a logical viewpoint of his mistake in his autobiography – that being creative has led to an impressive number of tries, and that the risk of failure is something always at stake when one looks to be creative. Campese had succeeded with some of rugby's most brilliant runs and plays that were against the tide of play. "If you want an ordinary wing, that's fine, just don't look up the record books which tell you some players can score 30 or 40 tries in their career, and then wonder why your guys don't do that."
In response to the rush of criticisms aimed at Campese, Nick Farr-Jones, the then Australian captain, wrote a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper defending Campese.
However, the harsh reaction to Campese's error did not subside. His brother Mario was attacked outside a pub. When asked if he was the brother of David Campese, the simple answer of "yes" lead to a punch. To protect Campese's sensitive frame of mind, his family concealed his brother's attacking for months to prevent him from becoming more emotionally upset.
Two years later, during a dinner at the start of the World Cup, in an official publication for the tournament, Campese noticed an advertisement for a music store. The full-page ad, for a range of rugby videos, featured a photograph of Campese with the heading reading, "Watch him fumble whenever you want." Campese later confessed he had a burning desire at the 1991 World Cup to leave new memories for the people who only wanted to ponder of the negatives of his game. A goal he undoubtedly achieved. However, Campo's Corner has been forever since linked with Campese's legacy of highs and lows. As a rugby player heavily into credit when weighing his positive contributions against his negative contributions to the game of rugby, people have tended to ponder upon his weaknesses; this is partly due to the strong memory of Campo's Corner.
1991 Rugby Union World Cup
David Campese once said, "I want to be remembered like Barry John in Wales. I want people to look back and say Campo did this, this and this." After the 1991 Rugby World Cup former Welsh rugby great Barry John said, "Like Pelé, he is associated with the very best and historic moments in sport; he has a special genius which shows an individual can still paint his own portrait and leave an indelible mark for all to treasure. The ingredients are all the same: stature, presence, personality, style and an immense belief in the God-given talents."
In 1991 Campese was named Man of the Tournament for the World Cup. French rugby newspaper Midi Olimpique named Campese number one in its World Rugby Top 10. Former World Cup winning Australian flanker Simon Poidevin described Campese as "our undoubted star" and praised him for playing "the best he'd ever played". He further called him "the best attacking player in the world" and "definitely the star performer in the World Cup". Former Wallaby and author Peter Fitzsimons has said that "in attack... he was without peer..."
Campese was so immense in Australia's success that captain Nick Farr-Jones said that Australia might not have won the World Cup if not for him.
1991 World Cup Pool Match - Australia 39 - 19 Argentina (Llanelli - 4 October 1991)
Australia started the 1991 World Cup with a pool match against Argentina, in which Campese scored two tries and created a third. In Wallaby Gold rugby writer Peter Jenkins writes that:
|“||David Campese, from the outset of Australia's World Cup campaign, stamped the tournament with his genius. Two tries and a final pass for another, scored by centre Tim Horan, provided the safety net for a Wallaby side that failed to ignite on a team package basis. Campese, coolly leaning against a goalpost one minute, was shredding the Pumas' defence the next. Spiro Zavos, in the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote: 'Watching the winger beat three Argentinians to score his first try, then burst through explosively for a second... was reminiscent of Kenneth Tynan's tribute to the beauty of Greta Garbo: "What men see in women when they are drunk, they see in Garbo when they are sober." So too, rugby manoeuves which good players must only dream about doing in drunken stupors, David Campese does every time he plays.||”|
Sports commentator Peter Meares and rugby author Maxwell Howell give an account of Australia's first 1991 World Cup Pool Match in Wallaby legends:
|“||The Pumas made a game of it for the first twenty minutes, rarely allowing the Wallabies any possession. Whatever scraps came Australia's way were booted downfield by Michael Lynagh... Campese hadn't touched the ball. The body language said it all. He stood, hands on hips, legs crossed, leaning against a goalpost.||”|
Campese later recalled that "...I took a breather at one stage by leaning against a goalpost. I remember being asked how I could do such a thing during an important game. It was no big deal. Argentina had already had a few scrums on our line, and they were intent on getting a pushover try."
Meares and Howell write that:
|“||Finally, a kick-through was fielded by Marty Roebuck. He counter-attacked, swerving out forwards the left wing. He fed Campese - a step off the left foot, a step off the right and then a burst of blistering pace - he was through and over. Five minutes later and he was in again, this time chiming into the backline and scooting through a chink in the Pumas' defence. In the second half he sent Tim Horan over for another try and the Wallabies were home 32-19.||”|
1991 World Cup Pool Match - Australia 9 - Western Samoa 3 (Pontypool - 9 October 1991)
Campese played in Australia's second World Cup Pool Match against Western Samoa on the right wing, in which he became the first person to play 60 Test matches for Australia. Australia defeated Western Samoa by scoring three penalty goals (kicked by Michael Lynagh) to one penalty goal kicked by Samoa.
1991 World Cup Pool Match - Australia 38 - Wales 3 (Cardiff - 12 October 1991)
1991 World Cup Quarter Final - Australia 19 - Ireland 18 (Dublin - 20 October 1991)
Campese scored the first try of the Test in the first half off the World Cup Quarter Final off a backline move "Originally code-named 'Stellenbosch' after the famous South African University and through the passage of time abbreviated to 'S'..." In Noddy Michael Lynagh explains that:
|“||I pass to the inside centre who, along with the outside centre, is moving diagonally across the field. David Campese, or whoever the winger might be, comes back inside the inside centre on... a switch pass. It's a move designed to take the opposition defence across, while we bring the open winger back inside on a different angle, hopefully creating a break over the advantage line."||”|
Campese broke through the Irish defensive line, and side-stepped Irish winger Simon Geoghegan to score his first try.
In the final minutes of the Test, Australia trailing 15-18, Australia kicked off long. Irish catcher Brian Robertson kicked the ball "fifteen metres" from Ireland's try line. Australia won the ensuing line-out and Lynagh called a play that brought Campese back towards the Australian forwards, and a scrum was called. Lynagh called "cut two loop" one more time. In Noddy Andrew Slack writes that:
|“||From [Peter] Slattery to Lynagh, then the miss pass went to a straight-running Roebuck. Despite being hindered by opposite number Brendan Mullen before the ball, Little held the pass from Roebuck and delivered to Campese. The Irish defence was again breached, but the cover swarmed. Campese was felled and as the ball hit the turf it bounced backwards... Lynagh had chased the ball across field in support.. to snatch a half-volley...||”|
Australia scored with four minutes remaining and won the quarter final 19-18.
1991 World Cup Semi Final - Australia 16 - 6 New Zealand (Dublin - 27 October 1991)
Proir to the start of the Test, Campese did not stand in-front of the haka, instead opting to practice his kicking downfield.
Australia defeated New Zealand 16-6 in the 1991 World Cup semi-final, in which Campese was a decisive factor. Rugby writer Philip Derriman records that, "David Campese made two stunning interventions in the play which produced the only tries of the match and thus were responsible for Australia's 16-6 win."
Rugby writer Peter Jenkins records that, "Campese scored the first Wallaby try in the 12th minute, drifting off the blind wing into the five-eighth position to take the first pass from the ruck. He then angled across field to turn his arch rival, John Kirwan, inside out before touching down. In the 35th minute he gathered a chip-kick from Lynagh, avoided one defender and drew two others before lobbing a basketball pass, without looking, over his right shoulder for centre Horan to score."
In For Love Not Money Simon Poidevin writes:
|“||Campo really left a huge imprint on that semi-final. In the sixth minute he scored the most exhilerating solo try of the tournament, and later created an even better team try, to show he was the best attacking player in the world and definitely the star performer in the World Cup. The memory of Campo angling across field and bomboozling Mark Carter, Sean Fitzpatrick and John Kirwan will remain forever. This was then topped in the 34th minute by his incredible one-handed pickup from a clever Lynagh kick, a wiggle to offset John Timu and then an inspired flick over his right shoulder to the brilliant Horan to give us a decisive edge.||”|
Following the Test All Blacks coach Alex Wylie remarked, "There's always Campo, and when you've got a player like that in your team you always know probably something is going to happen. He did it again – he just pulled that one out. An individual like that: one day he could probably blow it, but the other four days he could make it. It was just unfortunate he made it against us."
Following the tournament former Irish fly-half Tony Ward said of Campese that, "He is the Maradona, the Pelé of international Rugby all rolled into one. You cannot put a value on his importance to our game. He is a breath of fresh air and I think perhaps the greatest player of all time." Ward continued:
|“||The first try he scored defies logic - as first receiver from a centre-field ruck he cuts left, across-field, leaving player after player grasping at thin air. The last defender is, ironically, John Kirwan, his predecessor as the best winger in the world. Somehow he conjures up a try in the corner - a try that the All Blacks know should never have been scored. Better is to come however, as Campese regathers a chip kick, beats one man, then draws two others, before popping a 'no-look' pass over his shoulder for Tim Horan to score - it is the try of the tournament.||”|
In 2013 former New Zealand rugby player Sean Fitzpatrick wrote that, "One man can never win a match on his own but he came as close to that as is possible with his display in the 1991 World Cup semi-final. We were beaten by half-time."
In an ABC documentary entitled The Rise and Rise of Australian Rugby, former Australian coach Bob Dwyer stated that, "I'm sure that his first-half performance that day has never been beaten." British rugby writer Stephen Jones added, "If I had to put together the greatest rugby match I've ever seen I'd have the first half of Australia versus New Zealand in '91 in Dublin…"
1991 World Cup Final - Australia 12 - 6 England (London - 2 November 1991)
Australia won the 1991 World Cup Final by beating England 12-6. Campese did not have much "ball possession" in the final, as evidenced by the fact that Australian fly-half Michael Lynagh only touched the ball 17 times in the Test, as opposed to English fly-half Rob Andrew, who touched the ball 41 times." However, four moments involving David Campese are often recorded in reports of the final.
Campese came close to scoring a try in the early stages of the first half of the final. Bob Dwyer recalls in The Winning Way that, "We were deprived of one try when a ball which Campese chipped ahead after making a break down the right wing bounced backwards and touched the referee, who consequently had to call a scrum."
Australia scored their only try of the 1991 World Cup Final in the 26th minute. Campese's "chasing" played an indirect part in the lead-up to Australia's first try. Simon Poidevin recalls in For Love Not Money that, "He [Tim Horan] took a bomb near his own line, spun out of the defence and sprinted 60m before kicking ahead..." Bob Dwyer records that, "Tim Horan had chipped ahead in a marvellous counter-attack from his own 22, and Campese had chased the ball and forced a lineout in the corner." Australia scored moments later off a rolling maul. Dwyer noted that, "The key to the whole exercise was Horan's grubber kick. If it had gone into touch, England would have had the put-in."
Campese was involved in the biggest controversy of the World Cup Final in the 69th minute. English flanker Peter Winterbottom attempted a pass to Campese's opposing winger Rory Underwood, who at that stage "may have had an overlap," when Campese knocked the ball forward." The referee ruled it a deliberate knock-on and awarded England a penalty." The English hooker, Brian Moore, thought the referee should have awarded a penalty try. Moore was reported after the Test to have said, "[Campese] sets himself up as the saviour of rugby. Yet when it comes down to it he's as cynical as anyone. I wouldn't criticise Campese except he called me mad as a hatter earlier this week."
Australian flanker Simon Poidevin records that, "English critics claimed later that a penalty try should have been awarded, but there was no certainty that Underwood would have scored with our defence converging on him as fast as they were."" Australian coach Bob Dwyer later added that, "He [the referee] could easily have ruled that the ball was simply passed into Campese's extended arm and that Campese made no deliberate attempt to hit it."" Dwyer further added his opinion that the decision did not cost England the final - "Australia would still have been ahead by 12-9, and I see no good reason to believe that England would have improved on that."
In On a Wing and a Prayer David Campese defended himself by stating that, "...I did not deliberately try to slap the ball down when Winterbottom attempted to pass to Underwood in the second half. I was just worried about stopping Winterbottom and I tried to get man and ball by wrapping my arms around him as well as the ball."
In the final stages of the final, Campese was involved in a backline movement that nearly led to an English try. Bob Dwyer records of, "...an unfortunate decision by the Australian backs to run the ball when the backline consisted only of Marty Roebuck, who had moved into five-eighth, Michael Lynagh at inside-centre and David Campese outside him." Dwyer further added that, "Lynagh, having looped Campese well behind the advantage line, lost possession in a tackle, and the England players set off for the try line.""
Australian Rugby writer Philip Derriman records that, "...the English broke into the open with the ball well inside Australia's half and looked all but certain to score until the player in possession, Rob Andrew, was brought down in a magnificent diving tackle by John Eales, coming across in cover defence."
Following the 1991 Rugby World Cup former Irish flyhalf Tony Ward said that, "Although the finale is disappointing in terms of entertainment, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Australia has been the best team and Campese is the outstanding player."
English revenge for the final defeat came in the next World Cup when they beat the Wallabies in a nail-biting quarter-final. After the match, Campo somehow found himself on the same bus as all the English and endured some ribbing.
Campese was in fine form for the 1992 Bledisloe series and was voted world player of the year. Later in his career, his blistering pace declined but he still remained able to unlock the tightest of defences with clever passing and well-angled runs. His final match was against the Barbarians at Twickenham in 1996 in which he scored after sliding through a tight defence.
Throughout his career Campese was known for his forthright views and the running commentary of chairman Campese was never for the faint of heart. The English were a particular target for his vitriol as he lambasted them for their boring and unadventurous play, however he was not afraid to also speak out against Australians, for instance when some elected to play for their states rather than represent Australia in the Hong Kong Sevens.
In retirement, Campese remains a fierce critic of England, maintaining his criticism even after England were crowned world champions in 2003. However, he was a good enough sport to accept the merciless heckling from the English media in the aftermath of England's victory with good grace, and walked humiliatingly the length of Oxford Street wearing a sandwich board on which was the English flag overlaid with the words "I admit, the best team won!" to make good on a somewhat rash promise he'd made before the tournament.
In 2013, he published tweets urging that naturalised Australian cricketer Fawad Ahmed "go home" because he chose not to wear clothing with the logo of Victoria Bitter on account that it clashes with his Islamic faith.
David Campese has frequently been cited by several rugby pundits as one of the greatest rugby union players of all time. In 2002, rugby commentator Bill McLaren named David Campese on the wing in his greatest ever world XV, citing him as his favourite player. He further nominated Campese as the greatest rugby player he ever saw.
Following Australia's victory over New Zealand in the 1991 World Cup semi-final, former Irish fly-half Tony Ward said of Campese that, "He is the Maradona, the Pele of international rugby all rolled into one." He further added that, "You can't put a value on his importance to our game. He's a breath of fresh air and I think perhaps the greatest player of all time."
In his first autobiography The Winning Way, former Australian coach Bob Dwyer hailed Campese as being one of the five most accomplished Australian rugby players he has ever seen. Dwyer writes that, "I would rate Campese first for pure individual brilliance."
In 1989 David Campese was selected in the Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook "Team of the Decade" at left-wing. The team was chosen by a panel consisting of former rugby players Gareth Edwards, Jear-Pierre Rives, Ian Robertson, and David Kirk. The panel agreed that one selection was straightforward, that of David Campese on the left wing.
In 2007 former English rugby captain Will Carling rated David Campese as the third best rugby player of all time. He stated that, "He was well ahead of his time. His anticipation and vision was way ahead of what everyone else was attempting, and 99 per cent of it came off. He took running lines no one else could fathom and made passes no one could see were on. He was an extraordinary talent - the best winger."
Off the field, Campese was regarded as the first professional when rugby union was strictly an amateur sport and when he declared himself "rugby's first millionaire", it was controversial. Professionals were banned from playing in the early part of his career and players were not allowed to profit in any way from their image as players. Campese played a part in changing this but he also brought professionalism to the game in the manner in which he felt teams should prepare for games, most noticeably when he played at Milan. These attitudes became normal in many clubs, not just elite ones. This cannot solely be contributed to him but he was early in advancing these ideas.
Campese also dramatically enhanced the style of play expected of wingers. He was part of a group of wingers that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s (Stu Wilson, Ray Mordt, Michael O'Connor and Patrice Lagisquet are examples of this group). Before these players, wingers were often just the quick men who caught passes and then sprinted for the line. They were expected to stay on their wings and wait for the ball to come their way, the English were special targets for his criticism here. Campese, rejecting that thought, scored many tries from all kinds of positions where defences were not expecting a winger to appear from. Modern wingers are now all expected to have a higher work rate and are more complete players who have a fuller range of skills than the speed merchants of before.
He is best remembered by many[who?] as from being part of an era when it was acceptable to try things and take risks. With highly structured game plans and so much at stake in the professional game, risk taking became less common after his retirement. It is ironic as he was the highest profile of the Australian players who won the 1991 World Cup. The upsurge in interest in Australia in rugby union can also be attributed to him in a large part and therefore perhaps helped create the professionalism which does not favour the style he liked to play.
Peter Meares and Maxwell Howell wrote of Campese's fame that:
- "...his fame surpassed the normal boundaries of sport - Australian rower Nick Green, a Victorian, summed up the Oarsome Foursome's victory in the Barcelona Olympics, like this :'So easy, Campese."
Campese was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1997. In 1999 Australia Post celebrated the centenary of Australian federation emitting 250 collectible stamps depicting the champ and autographed by the same Campese. He Received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000, a Centenary Medal in 2001, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2002. In 2007 Campese was honoured in the third set of inductees into the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2013.
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- David Campese, David Campese: Ironbark Legends (Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 1996), p 95."
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- Simon Poidevin as told by Jim Webster, For Love Not Money (Sydney: ABC Enterprises, 1990), p 75."
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- Terry Cooper compiled by Peter A. Murray, Victorious Wallabies: U.K. Your 1984 (East Sussex: Waterloo Press, 1985), p 22."
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- Terry Cooper compiled by Peter A. Murray, Victorious Wallabies (East Sussex: Waterloo Press, 1985), p 103."
- Terry Cooper compiled by Peter A. Murray, Victorious Wallabies (East Sussex: Waterloo Press, 1985), p 104."
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- Terry Smith & Mark Ella, Path to Victory: Wallaby Power in the 1980s (Sydney: ABC Enterprises, 1987), p 110."
- Spiro Zavos & Gordon Bray, Two Mighty Tribes: The Story of the All Blacks vs. the Wallabies(Auckland: Penguin Books, 2003), p 207."
- David Campese & Mal Meninga, My Game Your Game (Chippendale: Pan Macmillan Publishers, 1994), p 171."
- Peter Jenkins, Wallaby Gold: The History of Australian Test Rugby(Milsons Point: Random House, 2003), p 302."
- Philip Derriman, The Rise & Rise of Australian Rugby (Sydney, ABC Books 2003), p 166."
- Andrew Slack, Noddy: The Authorised Biography of Michael Lynagh (Port Melbourne, Williams Heinemann Australia, 1995), p 156."
- Andrew Slack, Noddy: The Authorised Biography of Michael Lynagh (Port Melbourne, Williams Heinemann Australia, 1995), p 157."
- Bill McLaren, David Campese: Ironbark Legends (Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 1996), p 53."
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- Simon Poidevin as told to Jim Webster, For Love Not Money (Sydney: ABC Enterprises, 1990), p 233."
- Simon Poidevin as told to Jim Webster, For Love Not Money (Sydney: ABC Enterprises, 1990), p 229."
- Peter Fitzsimons, Nick Farr-Jones: The Authorised Autobiography (Milsons Point: Random House, 1993), p 231."
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- Peter Meares & Maxwell Howell, Wallaby Legends (South Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian Pty Ltd, 2005), p 17-8."
- David Campese & Mal Meninga, My Game Your Game (Chippendale: Pan Macmillan Publishers, 1994), p 7."
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- Peter Jenkins, Wallaby Gold: The History of Australian Test Rugby (Milsons Point: Random House, 2003), p 458."
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- Andrew Slack, Noddy: The Authorised Autobiography of Michael Lynagh (Port Melbourne: William Heinemann Australia, 1995), p 14."
- Andrew Slack, Noddy: The Authorised Autobiography of Michael Lynagh (Port Melbourne: William Heinemann Australia, 1995), p 15."
- Philip Derriman, The Rise and Rise of Australian Rugby (Sydney: ABC Books, 2003), p 156."
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- Bob Dwyer, The Winning Way (Auckland: Rugby Press Ltd, 1992), p 153."
- Simon Poidevin, For Love Not Money (Auckland: Rugby Press Ltd, 1992), p 232."
- Peter Jenkins, Wallaby Gold: The History of Australian Test Rugby (Milsons Point: Random House Australia, 2003), p 317."
- David Campese with Peter Bills, On a Wing and a Prayer (London: Queen Anne Press, 1991), p 227."
- Bob Dwyer, The Winning Way (Auckland: Rugby Press Ltd, 1992), p 152."
- Bob Dwyer, The Winning Way (Auckland: Rugby Press Ltd, 1992), p 152-53."
- Philip Derriman, The Rise and Rise of Australian Rugby (Sydney: ABC Books, 2003), p 188."
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tv_and_radio/rugby_special/1842121.stm. Missing or empty
- http://www.espn.com.au/rugby/story/_/id/15360861/mclaren-names-best-player-ever-seen. Missing or empty
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- Campese, David – On a Wing and a Prayer
- Derriman, Philip – The Rise and Rise of Australian Rugby
- Ella, Mark and Smith, Terry – Path to Victory: Wallaby Power in the 1980s
- FitzSimons, Peter – Nick Farr-Jones — The Authorised Biography
- Jenkins, Peter – Wallaby Gold
- Webster, Jim – Simon Poidevin: For Love Not Money
- Bill McLaren's World XV Rugby Special, BBC Sport, 5 March 2002
- Campese completes walk of shame BBC Sport, 15 December 2003
- David Campese — Ironbark Legends
- Rugby's my Life — Video Documentary of David Campese's rugby career