Wallabies captain Michael Hooper says he is unaware of players being gagged during the Israel Folau saga and doesn’t believe the episode was disruptive to Australia’s World Cup campaign.
Legendary Wallabies winger David Campese says Australia need to regain a winning mentality and can progress very quickly if they go about things the right way.
Sixth-ranked Australia were eliminated from last year’s World Cup at the quarter-final stage.
Australia have won two of the first four World Cups but none of the last five.
Campese, a member of Australia’s 1991 World Cup winning team, believes a Wallabies turnaround wouldn’t be too difficult.
“We’ve got to get that winning mentality back, and start to believe you can try and do whatever you want to do,” he said at this week’s inaugural International Rugby Academy Australian course in Sydney.
“I don’t think it’s (going to take) a lot to get us back.
‘I just think we’ve got to get on the right path, we need the right people and everyone has got to help each other
“We’ve got to talk, and help, and understand, where we want to go and everyone being involved, I think if we can do that we can move forward very quickly.”
Campese, Australia’s all-time leading Test try-scorer, wasn’t that impressed by what he saw at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
“If you look at all the World Cups, I don’t think the rugby was the best standard, there was too much interference by the TMOs,” Campese said.
“A lot of people won’t watch because the scrums are taking three minutes and the referee still doesn’t get it right.
“I don’t know why we don’t change the game.”
With several established Wallabies either retiring or going overseas after the World Cup, there should be opportunities in this year’s Super Rugby tournament for members of the 2019 Junior Wallabies side which reached the final of the World Rugby Under 20 Championship.
“We’re sort of in no man’s land at the moment, we’ve lost a lot of players to overseas, but then there’s the excitement of new players coming through,” former Wallabies captain and hooker Phil Kearns said.
“The exciting thing about every season is seeing how a guy who had a few starts last year like (Reds’ halfback) Tate McDermott matures into a picked, week-in, week-out rugby player.”
Campese and Kearns and a number of other celebrated Wallabies including Matt Burke and Stirling Mortlock, have all been working at the Rugby Academy Australian course in Sydney.
The program enables up and coming players in each position to receive tuition from a past player in that area.
Wallabies James Slipper and Mike Harris and 19 All Blacks are among the many players to have graduated from the Academy to Test rugby.