• Campese: All Blacks’ aura is gone

    Former Wallabies wing David Campese believes that the All Blacks are losing their aura of invincibility following their Bledisloe Cup draw.

    The Wallabies overturned a 10-point deficit in the second half and played out to a thrilling 16-16 draw with the All Blacks in a drama-filled first of four Bledisloe Cup Tests.

    The Test would go beyond regulation time and the Wallabies had an opportunity to snatch a rare victory over their rivals, but Reece Hodge hit the posts with a 60m penalty.

    Speaking to Stuff.co.nz on Monday, 1991 World Cup-winner Campese said that New Zealand Rugby’s off-field decisions have resulted in the All Blacks losing their once-imperious grip on world rugby.

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    ‘Everything happens off the field before it happens on the field. Always,’ Campese told Stuff.

    ‘[NZ Rugby] came out and has been so arrogant [about Super Rugby], and I’m sitting there thinking, “You know guys, you’re going to fall on your sword very soon”, and it’s starting to happen now.

    ‘That All Blacks’ aura is gone. The younger guys are not composed, they’re not the same.’

    Campese also criticised the decision to appoint Ian Foster as former head coach Steve Hansen’s successor.

    The former All Blacks assistant coach was promoted to head coach ahead of main rival and Crusaders coach Scott Robertson. However, he was only handed a two-year contract when his promotion was confirmed back in December 2019.

    ‘I’m sorry but [Ian] Foster … I don’t think he’s going to last,’ Campese said. ‘If you [NZ Rugby] were confident, why wouldn’t they give him a four-year contract?’

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    The relationship between NZR and Rugby Australia is thought to have soured after New Zealand opted to form their own Super Rugby tournament for the future, but were only willing to allow a minimal number of Australian teams to join.

    ‘You take Australia away and New Zealand wouldn’t be anywhere near where they are,’ Campese said. ‘They’re lucky we’ve played against them year in, year out. We’ve helped them as well.

    ‘Unfortunately over the last couple of years we had a lot of problems off the field, which is why we were s*** on the field.

    ‘I watched the game and the All Blacks have lost something. They didn’t have that composure, and they panicked a bit, which they normally don’t do. Kieran Read not being there, he was a big loss.’

    Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images