Wallabies legend David Campese has apologised after being reprimanded by Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy for questioning whether a female newspaper journalist should write about rugby.
Campese tweeted that a "girl" shouldn't be covering rugby and then later dug the hole deeper as tried to defend his stance by saying he meant female journalists weren't as tough on coaches.
In the original tweet posted on Wednesday morning Campese referred to Fairfax journalist Georgina Robinson, who is covering Australia's current tour of Europe.
"Why does the smh get a girl to write about rugby. Growden who was a great jornio (sic) and now we have someone who has no idea about the game!" was the tweet from Campese's official Twitter account.
"Growden" is Fairfax's long-time rugby writer Greg Growden who took redundancy just over a month ago.
Senator Lundy also took to social media to voice her displeasure at Australian rugby's record tryscorer comments.
"Female players, mums, sisters, partners of players, in fact everyone expects better from David Campese", she tweeted.
That was followed up from Campese with "yes I am sorry for the comment".
His day didn't get much better when he then tweeted his phone number to his 8000-odd followers when he tried to direct message the number to one of them.
A vocal critic of Australian coach Robbie Deans, who is under pressure due to the Wallabies' roller-coaster form, Campese tried to explain his initial comment.
"I was trying to say is that the coach is under pressure and sometimes males give it to the coach as some females go a lot easier on them," he wrote.
Campese deleted the original sexist tweet but was unable to use his famous goose-step to avoid the criticism.
Wallaby flanker David Pocock, in Cardiff preparing to make his comeback from injury in the weekend's season-ending test against Wales, condemned Campese for the comment.
"Really sad to see journos attacked based on their gender. Or a grown woman referred to as a 'girl' ," Pocock wrote.
Former dual international Wendell Sailor also criticised the comment.
"Well good morning to u Campo & I have to say r are on ur own with this comment it's 2012 champ," Sailor tweeted.
Former Australian Associated Press journalist Margie McDonald, now with The Australian, was the first female to cover a Wallabies tour back in 1988, when Campese was a member of the side.
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