Tuesday 20 March 2018

Ollie Campbell

Ollie Campbell
Ollie Campbell

It's a testimony to his greatness that even now, with Johnny Sexton and Ronan O'Gara having brought their class to the international game, Campbell is still the best in the colour tv era.

He was effecting chop tackles before they had been so named, largely because his slim frame dictated it was the only way to go.

And with ball in hand he was great to watch: quick off the mark, he was a lovely distributor, and his kicking game was first class. In 1982 Ireland won their first Triple Crown since 1949.

It wouldn't have happened without Campbell at the controls.

His set-up of Moss Finn for the first try against Wales remains a classic; his boot was the difference in Twickenham; and against Scotland, on a blustery day at Lansdowne Road, he set a new kicking record with six penalties and a drop goal.

He toured with the Lions to New Zealand the next year but it was an average squad, depriving him of an achievement that would have rewarded his talent and dedication.

Sunday Independent

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