Australian rugby great David Campus says there are clear indications that the 2020 edition of the All Blacks is not up to historically high standards.
Campus, who spoke with Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford on Newstock SB on Tuesday, used the example of Rico Ion’s hard work as an indication of a rift that once dominated.
The 25th Test attempt was denied to Ion after he dropped the ball trying to dive his signature, and Campus believes it would not have happened in the past.
“I got into trouble for the British Lions pass in 1989. Australia caught up with me and they got into me, but I did an all black dive over the weekend – as soon as he dropped the ball I told my son Jason .. ‘He didn’t score it!’ – This is not something that all blacks usually do.
“I know this is a different era, I know I’m old, but it changed the game, it allowed Wallabies to gain some confidence and get back into the game, a little mistake.”
Campus said Ion’s mistake was just one of many proofs of a one – year Bledislow opener without years of class.
“You can see the little things that have never happened before, perhaps a lot of old people are not like Kieran Reed, but Richie Macau, who is steeped in tradition.
“Games change little things, and that’s the only thing I noticed … the pressure mistakes made by all blacks last week – yes, this was the first experiment, and we had a lack of rugby – but it’s not unique to all blacks.”
Campus suspects new all-black head coach Ian Foster is the source of the change. He said New Zealand rugby showed a lack of confidence in him.
“All black people – it’s weird that they gave the coach a two-year contract instead of the usual four, so they’ve found something sure there.”
However, this lack of confidence in Foster spread to his home country as the campus refused to predict a victory for the Wallabies at Eden Park this coming Sunday.
“We last won there when I played there in 1986, but since last week … this young team has a lot of potential there. I hope they play like they did last week. I think we’re getting very close.”