Elsom's Rocky road to Japan

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 16:27

Former Wallabies skipper Rocky Elsom has signed a deal to join Japanese club Kobe Steel and is unlikely to play any more Super Rugby this year.

Elsom has suffered through an injury-plagued couple of seasons, playing just one Super Rugby match for the Brumbies in 2011 and three for the Waratahs in 2012. Add to that he was stripped of the Australian captaincy just before the World Cup and then omitted from the most recent squad, so perhaps the time is right for Elsom to move on.

Waratahs coach Michael Foley expressed his disappointment that injuries have prevented Elsom from making a bigger impact for the 'Tahs this season.

"Rocky won't be with us next year," Foley told Sky news.

"We wish Rocky the best, he's had a particularly frustrating year with injuries he picked up during the international season last year.

"He became a handyman in pre-season, going around fixing gym equipment," Foley added. "And since that time, he's actually mentored a couple of our young guys and looked at particular areas of our game."

The 29-year-old joins Kobe Steel on a two-year deal, while Springbok centre Jaque Fourie also joins the team next season on a  two-year contract following his stint with the Panasonic Wild Knights in his debut Japanese season. Kobe have been known to attract big names with Peter Grant having played for the team for the past two seasons.