Campo still loves it ... boos and all

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 March, 2008, 12:00am

It was almost like yesterday for David Campese, who was transported back to when he used to dazzle crowds at Hong Kong Stadium.

'It feels good to be back. It is good to hear the boos again,' smiled Campese (pictured) as he walked off carrying the kit bag of the Australian team who emerged with a narrow 24-12 victory over Hong Kong.

Wallaby legend Campese played here a dozen times during the heyday of Australian sevens, winning the Cup three times in the late 1980s. His last appearance was in 1998. In the past decade, he has been a regular visitor, in the corporate boxes or as a guest commentator.

This time, however, the Australian Rugby Union decided to hire him as assistant coach to Bill Millard, hoping some of his brilliance would rub off on the young Australian team who have been struggling on the IRB Sevens circuit, lying ninth in the standings.

So it was hands-on for Campo, coaching an Australian team for the first time. And he loved every minute of it, even if he had to endure a couple of anxious moments as Hong Kong made life difficult for his charges.

'We need to be more urgent and need to hold on to the ball more. But we did all right considering the conditions were so slippery out there,' said Campese.

As for the traditional boos which greeted the Australians, Campese loved it: 'Nothing has changed.'