Deans: Elsom will be fine
Robbie Deans has backed injured skipper Rocky Elsom amid growing calls to replace him ahead of the Wallabies World Cup campaign.
Last Updated: 27/05/11 1:14pm
Australia coach Robbie Deans has backed injured skipper Rocky Elsom amid growing calls to replace him ahead of the Wallabies World Cup campaign.
After sitting out for six months with a hamstring strain, Elsom is woefully short of match practice heading into the tournament beginning in New Zealand on September 9.
To make matters worse the 28-year-old flanker now faces another long stint on the sidelines after suffering another injury in his comeback game on Saturday.
Elsom suffered a high ankle sprain (syndesmosis) during the ACT Brumbies' 13-13 draw against Western Force, which looks to have effectively ended his season.
Australia head into Test season in less than two months with a match against Samoa on the July 17 before they take on South Africa and New Zealand in the Tri-Nations.
The matches are crucial to Australia's World Cup preparations, which has led to fears that Elsom will simply not be sharp enough to lead the Wallabies.
But Deans' has dismissed concerns surrounding his beleaguered skipper, insisting that the injury will not hamper his plans.
"It's syndesmosis," Deans told reporters. "But it is not as sinister as they often are, which is evident from the fact that Rocky finished the game (against Perth).
"We don't believe it will come to (discussing new captains). He will be fine by the time the (test) program starts.
"There's no suggestion from the prognosis that he won't be available."