The Radio Times logo

David Campese: Australia have the X factor, the Lions are dull

Ahead of the First Test, the former Australian rugby international asks "Why can't the Lions entertain?"

Published: Friday, 21st June 2013 at 3:23 pm

David Campese has laid into the British and Irish Lions ahead of the First Test, calling the Northern Hemisphere style of play “rubbish”.


The former Australia rugby international warned that coach Warren Gatland’s approach will mean a lack of tries when the sides meet on Saturday at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

“I don’t think there are going to be a lot of tries from the Lions,” Campese said. “There are some big guys there, and all they’re going to do is hit it up and get a couple of penalties.

“People pay good money to watch a game, so you’ve got to entertain them. Why can’t the Lions entertain them?”

Campese is currently a commentator for talkSPORT but was part of the Australia side that lost to the Lions tourists in 1989.

He said that in contrast to the physical nature of the Lions attack, the Australian team, which includes former rugby league star Israel Folau, has some exciting playmakers.

“We’ve got some X factor players in our team. They might not be big, but if you turn the ball over you’re in big trouble. That’s where Southern Hemisphere rugby is really different to the Northern Hemisphere because of the conditions. A lot of kicking and penalties in the North: I hate that rubbish.”

However, he added that because of the pressure that coach Robbie Deans is under the chances of Australia springing many surprises are slim.

“We’ve got to get away from this structure,” Campese said. “I don’t think the Lions will do that, I think they will be very predictable. But then it depends what the Australians do as well.


“You’ve got two very desperate teams. The Australian coach: if he loses he’s gone. Gatland’s under pressure because Lions haven’t won in Australia since ’89. It will be a very dull affair unless someone’s won 2-0 going into the third test, in which case that will be fantastic. They’ll have nothing to lose. But I don’t think it’s going to be like that."


Sponsored content