Campbell looking to press Wallaby claims after breakthrough season

Tue, Jan 10, 2023, 9:15 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallabies travelled to Cardiff for their final Spring Tour match of 2022.

Jock Campbell is hoping to build off his breakthrough 2022 campaign with the Wallabies as the battle to lock down a spot in the back three intensifies.

Campbell was one of seven outside backs included in last week's 44-player squad, with the group currently in camp on the Gold Coast ahead of a crucial year.

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It comes after the 27-year-old made his Test debut on the Spring Tour, coming off the bench against Scotland before starting the next two games against France and Italy.

However, Campbell is well aware he needs to continually improve if he wishes to nail down a spot in the back three before the World Cup.

The likes of Andrew Kellaway and Kurtley Beale have returned to the squad after missing the Spring Tour whilst Marika Koroibete and Tom Banks remain in Japan, plying their trades with their respective clubs.

It adds to the competition after Mark Nawaqanitawase's impressive end to the season, which Campbell believes is only good for Australian Rugby

“I feel like no one has nailed down the position but there are a lot of guys that are capable," Campbell told reporters.

“I feel like we have a lot of depth in that position and even on the wing, we saw a lot of guys perform well over the Spring Tour like Marky (Nawaqanitawase) with a couple of awesome performances.

“There’s a lot of depth in the outside backs…I’m confident in my own ability to get out there but I’m so is everyone I’m sure and I think that’s only a positive.

“That competition creates depth and makes everyone play better. If you only have one or two guys, everyone rests on their laurels which I don’t think you can do in this team at the moment.”

Campbell also backed the Queensland Reds to defy the loss of Taniela Tupou as they look to improve on their quarter-final finish in 2023.

The Reds struggled without the imposing prop in 2022 and will likely spend this season without Tupou after he ruptured his Achilles during the Spring Tour.

“I think you can’t replace Taniela, he’s one of a kind and has been so good for so many years but we have some good young props,” Campbell reiterated.

“I know Zane (Nonggorr) was injured for a lot of last year but I know he’ll surprise people with how good he is. He’s young, but he’s been with us for a while so I think he’ll surprise people.”

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