But after playing just 16 minutes for Australia in 2008 due to an eye injury, and missing all of Italy’s 2013 World Cup campaign with knee problems, Campese is on a mission to run out onto Canberra stadium on Friday and farewell his career.
“This could be the last game ever, all of my energy is going into getting this calf right,” Campese said.
Campese’s fate is still up in the air with the final call being made after Italy’s captain.
“This year was the most games I’d played consecutively in about six years and I’ll never give up on running out on Friday just to say thanks to everyone who’s had anything to do with my career.”
But the Canberra local has been doing everything possible to ensure he finally represents Italy at a World Cup.
“They say a calf injury is an old man injury, but I’ve been getting injured since I was in my mid-20s. It’s just my body,” Campese joked.
“I’m fighting the clock. I’m trying everything possible the physio, the masseuse, I’ve pretty much been walking around with an ice bag strapped on my leg.
Italy has a tough task ahead of them however, attempting to ground the high flying Fiji Bati side, who are still reeling from their huge 72-6 triumph over Wales last week.
Fiji will be looking for a win to finish off the group stages of the tournament but even a narrow defeat would be enough for them to progress to a quarter-final against the loser of New Zealand and Tonga.
Things aren’t as good for the Azzurri side, who need to pile on at least 45 points and hope other results go their way if they are any chance of progressing out of the pool stages.
Despite a slow start to their campaign, Italy has found the form which so many expected from them earlier in the competition after they confidently beat the USA Eagles 46-0 last week.
But the Fiji side that stands in front of them come into the match as heavy favourites and will field an unchanged side from the one that cruised past Wales.
Fiji center, Akuila Uate, has full faith in his team’s ability and is confident that they will not only come away with a win on Friday but can go deep into the World Cup.
“This group of men are very close to each other. We’ve got God behind us and we can go all the way,” Uate told Channel 7.