Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Campese Blasts 'Boring England'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Campese Blasts 'Boring England'

Article excerpt

Former Australia Test star David Campese has criticised "boring" England in the build-up to this weekend's rugby union World Cup final.

Campese, a long-standing critic of Clive Woodward's team and their tactics, believes changes in the rules of the game may be necessary to stop others copying England's approach.

And he is urging the International Rugby Board to consider ways of encouraging running rugby.

England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson kicked all his side's points in the 24-7 World Cup semi-final win over France to book a place in the final against Australia.

And though England's display was governed by the wet and windy conditions which made running rugby all but impossible, Campese was not impressed with the manner of England's win.

He said: "The France win was all kicks and England's win only reinforced my belief that for infringements around the rucks and mauls, where so many offences occur, free-kicks should be awarded rather than penalties.

"The scoring should also be looked at. The value of a try was put up to five points to encourage running rugby, but teams such as England don't care. Bang three points, bang three points. That's all they do. There has got to be entertainment in the game.

"All right, rugby people may understand why penalties are awarded and are important, but to the floating fans taking a look at the game, they will want to see tries."

Meanwhile, England were today continuing their bid to end the nation's painful 37-year wait for global sporting glory.

England will face Australia in the final at Sydney's Telstra Stadium on Saturday.

And red rose supremo Woodward admits that the memory of the England soccer team's World Cup success against Germany in 1966 is still a vivid one.

Woodward was just ten years old when Bobby Moore lifted the famous gold trophy at Wembley, but that momentous triumph has rarely threatened to be matched since by any English team.

That could all change this week though, and Woodward said: "I remember the 1966 World Cup final clearly, you can name the team and the whole thing. …

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