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David Campese questions England over Eddie Jones move

It’s not like Campo to have a strong opinion.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

WALLABIES GREAT David Campese believes England will achieve success under new Australian coach Eddie Jones but has criticised the Rugby Football Union for putting a foreigner in charge of the side for the first time.

Jones was appointed after the World Cup hosts suffered an embarrassing first-round exit under Stuart Lancaster at last year’s showpiece event.

But while he expects England’s record to improve under Jones, Campese was adamant a coach and team should be of the same nationality, recalling New Zealander Robbie Deans’s unsuccessful spell in charge of Australia.

“He came to the Wallabies in 2008 with good credentials but he was a Kiwi and he had no idea about rugby in Australia,” wrote Campese in a column for Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper published late Friday.

“I am not saying the same thing will happen to England under Eddie Jones as happened to Australia under Deans…but it has always been my view that a national coach should be from that country.

David Campese is tackled Brendan Mullin David Campese of Australia is tackled by Ireland's Brendan Mullin in 1991. Source: ©INPHO

“What does it say to the best young coaches in England that the RFU preferred to look abroad for the biggest job in the land?,” added Campese, a critic of English rugby’s ‘boring’ approach dating back to his time as a member of the Australia side that beat England in the 1991 World Cup final.

Campese admitted he had rarely seen eye to eye with Jones since his former team-mate with Sydney club side Randwick (where current Wallaby boss Michael Cheika also played) became Australia coach in 2001.

However, he also said England would improve under former hooker Jones.

“I think he will win England games. He is a workaholic. His track record as a coach speaks for itself.”

But Campese questioned whether “mavericks” such as Sale and former Melbourne fly-half Danny Cipriani, omitted from Jones’s first England squad, would get a chance.

“I am not saying that is wrong. It would not be what I would want. I like to see flair and entertainment. But maybe that is why he is the England head coach and I am the pundit.

“England fans are likely to see an upturn in their results but that does not necessarily make him the right appointment,” insisted Campese.

Jones’s first game as England coach is the Calcutta Cup clash away to Scotland in Edinburgh on February 6 which will launch both teams’ 2016 Six Nations.

© – AFP 2016

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