2013 British & Irish Lions
Campese: Everyone hates the Poms
ESPN Staff
February 14, 2013
Australia Sevens assistant coach David Campese looks on during training, April 6, 2008
David Campese says England are not world beaters © Getty Images

Australia great David Campese insists Lions head coach Warren Gatland should be concerned about English players being targeted on tour, declaring "everyone hates the Poms".

Gatland sparked a strong reaction this week by saying English players were targeted by other countries and that a large English contingent in the Lions squad to tour Australia this summer could create a "media circus".

The Lions head coach has since backtracked, insisting nationality will not be a factor in selecting his team and that he would have no problem in picking a large contingent from Stuart Lancaster's in-form side.

But Campese, who won the World Cup with the Wallabies in 1991, insists English players will come under extra scrutiny in Australia, before adding that England's form in the Six Nations - where they top the table after two rounds - and their triumph over world champions New Zealand last December, does not represent a shift in power in the global game.

"The relationship between Australia and the Poms (English) is as it's always been. Mate, you've got to sledge (verbally abuse) - everyone hates the Poms!" Campese told the Daily Mirror.

"They win one game (against New Zealand) and all we hear is 'they are the best team in the world, they're going to win the World Cup, they're going to do this, this and this'. One game doesn't make you world beaters. You've only won one World Cup. You're playing against a country that's won two. That's the way we look at the English."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.