Elsom's smarts at highest level: expert - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Elsom's smarts at highest level: expert

David Beniuk 19/08/2011 02:53:12 PM Comments (0)

Dumped Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom possesses the highest level of intelligence, according to a neuroscientist the Australian side have used to boost their brain-power for the Rugby World Cup.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has been using Dr Evian Gordon, a founding director of the Brain Dynamics Centre at Sydney's Westmead Hospital, since 2008.

The revelations come in a new book about the former Australian captain, Rocky Elsom - Leader of the Wallabies, by journalist Bret Harris.

Released before Thursday's shock announcement that James Horwill would take over the captaincy just three weeks out from the World Cup, the book is still the most intimate portrait yet of the enigmatic Elsom.

The former skipper's intelligence has often been mentioned as one of his key assets, a suggestion confirmed by Gordon, who was introduced to Deans by Wallabies great Simon Poidevin.

"He is focused on outcomes," Gordon says of Elsom. "He is very solution focused, very, and that's the highest level of intelligence.

"Basically, he is a neuro-leader. And he doesn't try to be. It's just intuitive intelligence. He switches it on and it's like a rocket firing."

Gordon says Elsom's physical presence was obvious on first meeting him, but he was surprised by what he found when he dug deeper.

"I didn't expect to find much more than that, but I did," he says.

"What I found are his smarts are as much a unique attribute as his obvious physical strengths.

"And his smarts are his intuition and it's an intuition to get the patterns right."

Elsom and Deans have been working with Gordon, who runs a biotech company called Brain Resource, to improve the Wallabies' communication levels for the World Cup.

The All Blacks have been doing similar work, it is reported in Harris' book.

Gordon says Deans needed Elsom to be his "translator".

"Information is not that valuable," Gordon says.

"It's the training of that information into a habit that is everything and that is going to determine who is going to win the World Cup.

"Who came with the better habits to withstand the cauldron of those seven games?"

Among the other revelations in the book are Poidevin's theory that Elsom turned his back on the NSW Waratahs after a stint at Leinster because he believed the Brumbies would be more like the Irish side.

New Waratahs coach Michael Foley on Friday left the door open for a return by Elsom to the Super Rugby outfit.

"I don't think he was happy with the NSW management and board's direction and the Brumbies provided an environment where he could be Rocky, but NSW didn't," Poidevin says.

Elsom's axing as Wallabies captain becomes even more intriguing when set among Deans' comments on his skipper after the 2010 Test season.

"He has broadened in terms of his understanding," Deans says. "He has broadened in terms of his preparedness to get outside his comfort zone and take those steps.

" ... If you are going to rely on someone, you need to choose wisely who you rely on."

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