Elsom named in Wallabies line-up
July 13, 2011
Rocky Elsom has been named in the Wallabies squad to face Samoa © Getty Images
Australia international Nathan Sharpe has a laugh with Tim Gavin at the unveiling of the Wallabies 'Statesmen' Nathan Sharpe talks to the media at the unveiling of the 2011 ARU Classic Wallabies Statesmen The 2011 ARU Classic Wallaby Statesmen appear on stage Australia's Rocky Elsom looks on during training Wallabies fly-half Matt Giteau looks to lead the line during training
Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom will return to Test rugby alongside four newcomers in the Australian side which will take on Samoa in Sydney on Sunday.
Elsom has been plagued by hamstring and ankle injuries since 2010, playing just one match since the Wallabies' 2010 spring tour finale against France last November.
In a show of faith in the squad's newcomers, coach Robbie Deans named Melbourne Rebels halfback Nick Phipps and NSW Waratahs lock Sitaleki Timani in the starting XV, while the Queensland Reds duo James Hanson and Beau Robinson have made it to the bench.
Prop Benn Robinson has been ruled out of the squad after injuring his knee at training on Tuesday. Scans on Wednesday revealed a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament, opening the way for either Pek Cowan or Al Baxter to take on the role.
Some of the Wallabies' stars are being rested, including Queenslanders James Horwill and Quade Cooper, but Deans says the decision was in no way disrespectful to Samoa, with a strong line-up being fielded.
"Given the high most of those blokes had last weekend, it's my experience that it does take a little while to come down from that," he said.
"They've refocused quickly on the task at hand representing their country, which is why we've included a good group of those players in the match-day 22.
"They'll get their opportunity."
Wallabies: Mark Gerrard, James O'Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane, Matt Giteau, Nick Phipps, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson, Rocky Elsom (capt), Nathan Sharpe, Sitaleki Timani, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Sekope Kepu.
Replacements: James Hanson, TBA, Dan Vickerman, Scott Higginbotham, Beau Robinson, Will Genia, Kurtley Beale.
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