Elsom signs with Wallabies, Brumbies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Elsom signs with Wallabies, Brumbies

By Adrian Warren 03/06/2009 06:00:18 PM Comments (0)

Barnstorming backrower Rocky Elsom is targeting a return to the Wallabies team a week after playing against them for the Barbarians on Saturday.

Elsom finalised a two year deal with the Australian Rugby Union on Wednesday and will be available for the Wallabies and the Brumbies until the end of the 2011 season.

Along with fellow Wallabies backrower Phil Waugh, Elsom will line up for the Barbarians against Australia at Sydney Football Stadium this weekend.

While the 26-year-old forward said he hadn't spoken to Wallabies coach Robbie Deans since returning from Europe this week, he was hopeful of quickly adding to his tally of 40 Test caps.

Following their season opening match on Saturday, the Wallabies play the opening Test of their 2009 program against Italy at Canberra Stadium on Saturday week.

"There's a game in Canberra, so it would be good to play that," said Elsom.

Deans and fellow selectors, Jim Williams and David Nucifora will make the decision about Elsom's expected recall.

"Any decision on Rocky's involvement with the Wallabies will be made after Saturday night because we have a game to prepare for against the Barbarians," Deans said.

"We're pleased to have him back, we're pleased he's wanted to come back."

Elsom, who has just completed a very successful stint with newly crowned European Cup champions Leinster, said representing Australia was his top priority.

"The most important thing for me is to ... play the Tri-Nations and the Bledisloe."

Asked why he had joined the Brumbies ahead of Queensland and previous employer NSW, Elsom cryptically replied: "It was just much easier for me to go there".

Brumbies coach Andy Friend revealed it had been a case of Elsom approaching the Canberra based franchise rather than the other way round.

"In all honesty we had not considered him, we just thought he was completely a no-option, given that we'd heard about his talking with the Reds and then possibly the Waratahs," Friend said.

Both Friend and Elsom were relaxed about the inevitable increase in expectations of the Brumbies given they have also added Wallabies halves Matt Giteau and Josh Valentine to their 2010 squad, with exciting teenage Test back James O'Connor another potential recruit.

"We've got a good team, you always want to win. People will definitely ask some questions if we're not successful," Elsom said.

Elsom's decision not to rejoin the Waratahs was described as disappointing by NSW skipper Waugh.

"It's no secret that the Waratahs would have loved to have him as part of our squad, but it's good to have him back here playing in Australia and it will be good fun playing against him against the Brumbies next year," Waugh said.

A modest Elsom, who won Leinster's player of the year award, played down the rave reviews over his recent form.

His Leinster and former NSW teammate Chris Whitaker, who will play halfback for the Barbarians on Saturday, said Elsom had come along in "leaps and bounds".

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