Elsom re-signs with ARU
September 13, 2011
Elsom was relieved of his captaincy duties prior to the World Cup © Getty Images
Former Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom will remain in Australia until the end of 2013 after agreeing a new contract with the ARU and the NSW Waratahs.
Elsom, who was sensationally axed as Wallabies skipper last month, will rejoin the Waratahs for the next two Super Rugby seasons after opting to leave the Brumbies and will be available for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour.
The 28-year-old debuted for the Wallabies in 2005 against Samoa and is the 20th player to re-commit to Australian rugby this year. The powerful blindside flanker has accumulated 70 Test caps, 24 as Wallabies captain, and is now the fourth most capped loose forward in Wallabies history.
Incoming Waratahs coach Michael Foley said of Elsom's return: "When you're recruiting you're always looking for the best players to fill vacancies in your squad and when Rocky came off contract we knew he was the best person to fill that back-row place we had available.
"Rocky's a very special player, he has a great skill set and when he's at his best there's no doubt that he's one of the leading backrowers in the world. The fact that he has played at a number of teams now and decided to return to NSW shows he has a lot of belief in where this squad can go in the next couple of years.
"Most of our starting players have been involved in the national program so there won't be any problem with Rocky slotting straight back into the squad and as someone who has captained Australia we'll be looking to him to bring those leadership skills to the team."
Having played every minute of the Wallabies 15 Tests in 2010, Elsom managed just 60 minutes of Super Rugby for the Brumbies due to hamstring and ankle injuries.
A slow start to the international season saw him replaced by James Horwill as captain, however the No.6 remains an integral member of the starting line-up. He played in two Super Rugby Finals before heading to Europe where he won the European Cup with Leinster in 2009.
Meanwhile Melbourne Rebels have signed in former Wallaby Lloyd Johansson. The 26-year-old will return to Super Rugby following stints in Italy and Japan after impressing as a triallist on the Rebels' recent European tour.
The centre spent three seasons in Super Rugby with the Reds between 2005 and 2008 and won three caps for the Wallabies, scoring a try on his debut against New Zealand in the Tri-Nations clash in 2005.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Following the passing of Jack Kyle, Huw Richards pays tribute to arguably the finest player Ireland has produced
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance