Elsom isn't a miracle worker, says Deans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Elsom isn't a miracle worker, says Deans

By Darren Walton 13/08/2009 07:08:43 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said it was unfair to expect miracles from Rocky Elsom after the inspirational flanker on Thursday declared himself fit and raring to go in Saturday week's Tri Nations tussle with the All Blacks.

Elsom completed his first full training session with the Wallabies since returning to Australia seven weeks ago, insisting he'd fully recovered from the knee injury suffered during his heroic performance for Leinster in the European Cup final.

"Yeah, it feels fine at the moment so I'm pretty happy with it," Elsom said.

Deans was chuffed to see the big back-rower running freely.

"Because it's been quite frustrating for him. It was a significant injury. It was more complex and sinister than was first thought," he said.

"But he's now back out there and enjoying being back out there.

"He's been able to up the ante in terms of the amount of work he's done and he's had no setback as a result of that.

"He's very confident at the moment so, as long as there's no setback between now and next week, I imagine we will probably be considering him.

"He was a big part of our game last year when he was fit ... he's got a presence, which the players around him enjoy, and he enjoys mixing it and that's a good quality in Test-match rugby."

Deans, though, cautioned Wallabies fans against believing Elsom will solve all Australia's problems as they sit last on the Tri Nations ladder with just one bonus point from back-to-back away losses to New Zealand and South Africa.

"It won't be easy for him because it's been a while since he's played," Deans said.

"So to expect him to come back and have an immediate and too significant an effect would be unrealistic probably."

Elsom admitted to being a frustrated observer as the Wallabies threw away good early leads in Auckland and Cape Town.

"You don't want to give away anything and we feel like we've done a fair bit of that," he said.

"Not just the penalties. There's more areas there - any team will only do what you let them do and we haven't made it as hard as we could have.

"They might be up to it if we put the heat on them, but we at least want to find out.

"There's a lot of things across the board that we need to pick up on."

Elsom is expecting the All Blacks to be as tough as ever to conquer, despite the Wallabies' arch-rivals falling to the Springboks on successive weekends for the first time since 1966.

"They've had a couple of losses in South Africa but I don't think that's anything too different to where they've been in the past," he said.

"You look at the games they've won over there and there's been some close ones and they just haven't been able to do that this time around.

"The Springboks played really well, particularly that last game, so I don't think it's as bad as everyone thinks.

"It's just that people aren't used to seeing the All Blacks having dropped two games this early in the season."

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