Elsom signs with NSW Waratahs
Wallabies flanker Rocky Elsom will play for the New South Wales Waratahs next season after agreeing a two-year deal to return to the club where he started his Super rugby career and the Australian Rugby Union.
Elsom, who was stripped of the national team captaincy prior to the ongoing World Cup, leaves the ACT Brumbies, where he spent two seasons following a brief spell with Irish province Leinster.
“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,” Waratahs head coach Michael Foley said in a statement on Tuesday.
“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.”
Elsom played 66 times for the Sydney-based side before he left for Ireland in 2008.
His Super rugby career was heavily curtailed this past season for the Brumbies, playing just once after battling a hamstring injury.
In his only match for the Canberra-based side, he suffered a high ankle strain against the Western Force in May and was forced to miss the rest of the season.
The injuries contributed to his sensational axing as Wallabies skipper as coach Robbie Deans said he felt he needed the burly flanker to concentrate on just getting back to form rather than the added responsibility of leading the team.
The Brumbies were riven with controversy this year, with coach Andy Friend sacked after just two games, while the team lurched to 13th position in the newly expanded Super 15 season.
New South Wales finished the regular season in fifth but then lost 26-13 to the Auckland Blues in the first round of the playoffs.