Campese looks to follow family lead

2015-02-04 12:57
Terry Campese (File)

Manchester - Australia's David Campese enjoyed plenty of success in England, including winning the Rugby World Cup in 1991, and now the Wallaby great's nephew hopes the country will prove a happy hunting ground for him as well, albeit in a different code.

Terry Campese has certainly had a lot to get his head around since arriving as Hull Kingston Rovers' star new signing for the 2015 Super League season, which kicks off on Thursday.

The former Canberra Raider has to get to grips with a whole new style of play in the UK and a raft of structural league changes implemented this year, as well as the responsibility of captaining his new side.

The 30-year-old stand-off left Australia's NRL at the end of the last campaign and he has been tasked with leading a youthful looking Hull KR side coached by Chris Chester.

The likes of Travis Burns and Josh Hodgson have moved on from last year making Campese, with all his NRL experience, the natural heir to lead the side.

First and foremost the Robins will be targeting getting into the top eight after the first 23 games of the season.

After that point the league is frozen and split between the Super 8s - who play for the league crown - and the qualifiers - which is comprised of the bottom four Super League sides, playing off against the top four from the second-tier Championship for the right to say in the top flight.

And, with Hull KR having finished ninth last season.  Campese said he and his new team-mates would need a fast start when they host Leeds this weekend if they are to challenge at the top.

"I can't wait for the new season, it's going to be my first time at home on Sunday against Leeds," he said.

"It's definitely every team's goal to make that top eight. We've got to start the season well, you don't want to fall behind so you’ve got to get as many wins as you can in that first month.  

"We've got a young side at Hull KR and I'll try and pass on as much as possible.”

Elsewhere in the opening round, last year's runners-up Wigan take on a Widnes side coached by one of their former players, Denis Betts, in the first match of the new season on Thursday.

The Vikings have been boosted by the signings of experienced duo Aaron Heremaia and Manase Manuokafoa.

Heremaia, formerly a New Zealand Warrior, has joined from Super League rivals Hull FC and Betts was confident the Kiwi could make an immediate impact.

"We're looking forward to the new season, we've had a lot of stability in the last two or three years and we've got a strong squad and we've brought in some quality with Manuokafoa and also Heremaia to give us some experience," said Betts.

"What I hope to get from Aaron is some experience and leadership. He’s played in Aussie grand finals and he’s just got a real good temperament about him.”

Meanwhile, defending champions St Helens face a daunting trip to Todd Carney’s Catalans Dragons on the first weekend and new skipper Jon Wilkin insisted his side would have to lift their game despite taking the title last year.

"As champions there's an added pressure because teams are going to come for us," said Wilkin.

"We set a bit of a standard last year, and my belief is that standard won’t be good enough this year so we need to have improved substantially to get the honours we did last year."

Read more on:    david campese  |  rugby

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