David Ian Campese, also known as Campo, is a former Australian Rugby Union player. Campese was capped by the Wallabies 101 times, playing 85 tests at wing and 16 tests at fullback.
Campese made his debut for the Wallabies on the 1982 Australia Rugby Union tour of New Zealand, during which he scored one try in each of his first two tests. In 1983, he equalled the then Australian record for most tries in a test match, scoring four tries for Australia against the USA. He was a member of the Eighth Wallabies for the 1984 Australia Rugby Union tour of Britain and Ireland that won rugby union‘s “grand slam”, the first Australian side to defeat all four home nations, England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, on a tour.
He was a member of the Wallabies on the 1986 Australia rugby union tour of New Zealand that beat the All Blacks 2-1, one of six international teams and second Australian team to win a test series in New Zealand. He was a member of the Wallabies for the 1987 Rugby World Cup, during which he broke the then world record for most tries scored by an international rugby player in the semi-final against France. During the 1988 Australia rugby union tour of England, Scotland and Italy, Campese received a standing ovation from the crowd and applause from his teammates after scoring a try for Australia against the Barbarians at Cardiff Arms Park. Campese was a member of the Wallabies that won the 1991 Rugby World Cup, during which he was the tournament’s equal leading tri-scorer with six, and acclaimed player of the tournament.
Campese was a member of the 1992 Bledisloe Cup-winning Wallabies that defeated the All Blacks 2-1. During the 1992 Australia rugby union tour of South Africa, he became the first rugby player to score 50 test tries against South Africa in Cape Town. He was a member of the 1994 Bledisloe Cup-winning Wallabies that defeated the All Blacks in a one-off Test. During the 1996 Australia rugby union tour of Europe, Campese became the first Australian rugby union player, and second international player, to reach the milestone of playing 100 test. He retired from international test-match rugby at the end of the tour, having played 101 tests and scored a then world-record 64 test tries. This record has since been overtaken by Daisuke Ohata(on 14 May 2006) and Bryan Habana.
At state level, Campese represented both the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales. In 1983, he scored two tries, four conversions, and a penalty goal, in an Australian Capital Territory victory over Argentina. In 1991, he scored five tries for New South Wales in a 71-8 victory over Wales. At club level, Campese played for the Queanbeyan Whites from 1979 until 1986, and Randwick from 1987 to 1999. He won three consecutive grand finals with the Queanbeyan Whites from 1981-3, and in the 1983 grand final, he scored all of his team’s points in a 29-12 victory, scoring four tries, two conversions and three penalty goals. He won eight grand finals with Randwick, including six consecutive victories from 1987–92, as well as triumphs in 1994 and 1996.
Campese was also a renowned rugby sevens player. He made 12 appearances at the Hong Kong Sevens, during which he played in three victorious Australian campaigns, and was awarded the Leslie Williams Award for Player of the Tournament in 1988. In 1990 he participated in the 100th Melrose Sevens tournament playing for the victorious Randwick rugby club, during which he scored 44 of Randwick’s 92 points.
In 1998 he captained Australia to its first rugby sevens tournament victory in ten years, winning the Paris Sevens. He captained the Australian rugby sevens team at the 1998 Commonwealth Games to a bronze medal. In 2015 the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) announced Campese as one of seven members of The Hong Kong Magnificent Sevens, the HKRFU‘s commemorative campaign to recognise the seven most formative players to have played in the past 40 Years of Sevens in Hong Kong in 2015.
He is famous for his “goose-step” — a hitch-kick motion which left opponents stumbling to try to tackle him.
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