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Australian Rugby
Elsom heading to Japan
ESPN Staff
June 29, 2012
The Waratahs' Rocky Elsom takes a break in training, Moore Park, Sydney, Australia, February 27, 2012
Former Wallabies skipper Rocky Elsom could return to the European club rugby stage next year © Getty Images
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Waratahs coach Michael Foley has confirmed that Rocky Elsom has agreed a switch to Japan in a move that also opens a way back to Europe next year.

The injury-plagued Elsom has played just three games for the Sydney-based Waratahs this season and Foley has accepted that he will not return for the final two games of the season meaning the former Wallabies captain has played his last game in Australia.

The 29-year-old is believed to have put pen to paper on a two-year deal that is also understood to allow him to play in Europe between January and July with French giants Toulouse and Stade Francais reportedly leading the chase for his signature.

"Rocky is still recovering from a shoulder injury and it's getting better all the time, but we probably won't see him this year unfortunately," Foley said. "He's signed to play in Japan and we wish him well."

Elsom emerged as a formidable back-row talent during his first stint with the Waratahs between 2003-2008 before heading to Ireland where he enjoyed a successful spell with Leinster that included a man-of-the-match performance in their 2009 Heineken Cup final triumph over Leicester.

He returned to Australia soon after and resumed his Super Rugby career with the Brumbies with his subsequent form rewarded with a recall to the Wallabies. Elsom skippered his country for the following two seasons but lost the honour to Reds lock James Horwill ahead of last year's Rugby World Cup with the last of his 75 Test appearances coming in the semi-final defeat to New Zealand.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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