Elsom's tenure as skipper far from Rocky - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Elsom's tenure as skipper far from Rocky

Adrian Warren 23/10/2010 02:50:39 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom has been given a big wrap by coach Robbie Deans as he prepares to start his second Spring Tour as their leader.

Blindside flanker Elsom cut his captaincy teeth with the Wallabies on the same tour last year.

Renowned for letting his actions do the talking, Elsom is now firmly entrenched in the position.

"He has grown significantly and I think this trip will show that," Deans said at Sydney Airport prior to the team's departure.

"It (the Spring Tour) is a tough arena for any man to have his first (Wallabies) captaincy experience and that was what Rocky had.

"Obviously there is a lot of scrutiny, a lot of comment, but he's worked hard.

"He's no slug, he's quick on the uptake and he's made significant progress and hopefully he will get some outcomes that will just reinforce that."

Both Elsom and Deans stressed results rather than player development and potential as the big objective of the seven-match tour of Hong Kong and Europe.

The schedule contains Tests against New Zealand, England, Wales France and Italy plus midweek games against English club Leicester and Irish province Munster.

While the squad includes seven uncapped players, Deans stressed he wasn't looking at the tour from a developmental prospective.

"We selected the best group available," Deans said.

"Clearly there's a player like (halfback) Nick Phipps in there, who has been given an opportunity in a position where we are pretty much unresolved in terms of our third halfback, so he's got a great opportunity to that end.

"But it's not development. Really when you look at the whole group and the fixtures we are going into, we've got five Test matches, two midweek matches against international combinations.

"We are not approaching it as development."

Similarly, Elsom is more focused on obtaining positive results than player development, as the Wallabies seek to improve their consistency.

"Potential, I thinkwe're a bit passed that, I think we're probably more interested in results at the moment," Elsom said at Sydney Airport.

"You will know how well we are going, by how many times we get up."

Deans has blooded 26 players in his near three-year tenure and hopes that emphasis on bringing through new players would start paying off on a consistent basis.

"We believe so, we've got an opportunity in the next month to really show that," Deans said.

Elsom was confident he had fully recovered from the hamstring niggle which had prevented him from training with his team-mates until they reassembled for their final pre-tour camp last Wednesday.

Deans said there were no injury worries over any of the squad and all should be available for next Saturday's tour opener against New Zealand in Hong Kong.

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