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Rugby: Campese goosesteps into ‘Magnificent Seven’ (see video)

March 16, 2015: Australia legend David Campese has been named as the fifth member of ‘The Hong Kong Magnificent Seven’, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union’s tribute to the best players in the four decades of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

 

Campese, 52, joins New Zealand duo Eric Rush and Christian Cullen, Ben Gollings of England and Johnny Zhang Zhiqiang of China in the line-up. The entire ‘Magnificent Seven’ will assemble on the pitch at the Hong Kong Sevens next weekend.

 

In 15-a-side, Campese made 101 appearances for Australia and scored a then-record 64 international tries, but he was also a world-beater in sevens and a true icon at the Hong Kong Stadium.

 

In 1983, the man who trademarked the goosestep made the first of a dozen appearances in Hong Kong (1983-90, 93-94, 97-98). The Wallabies star lit up the tournament, helping Australia defend their title from the previous year in some of the wettest conditions ever recorded in Hong Kong in March.

 

David Campese was the fifth player named to ‘The Hong Kong Magnificent Seven’. Photo: c/o HKRFU.

David Campese, pictured in 1994, was the fifth player named to ‘The Hong Kong Magnificent Seven’. Photo: c/o HKRFU.

‘Campo’ would go on to capture two more Cups, in 1985 and 1988 – the last occasion Australia took the top silverware. He won the Leslie Williams Award for player of the tournament in 1988 and 10 years later still had pace aplenty to run in tries for Australia. He was as influential in his final match as he was in his first.

 

Campese bridged generations of powerful Wallaby sides in Hong Kong, from teaming up with Mark and Glen Ella, John Maxwell and Simon Poidevin in the 1980s to playing alongside Michael Lynagh, Jason Little, Tim Horan and George Gregan in the 1990s.

 

Although he said on several occasions that he had played his last match for Australia at sevens, he was convinced to come out of semi-retirement to lead an inexperienced Wallabies team to the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia in 1998. He proved an inspiration and the old head guided the young guns to a bronze medal, a fitting finale to a great sevens career spanning more than a decade.

 

To view highlights videos of players in ‘The Hong Kong Magnificent Seven’, visit: http://hksevens.com/event-info/hong-kongs-magnificent-7

 

Source: Hong Kong Sevens (hksevens.com); Editing by SportAsia

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