Australia v South Africa, Tri-Nations, August 29
Elsom relishing Springbok pressure
August 28, 2009
Wallabies flanker Rocky Elsom pictured in training, Moore Park Bus Loop Oval, Sydney, Australia, August 20, 2009
Wallabies flanker Rocky Elsom is relishing the pressure ahead of Saturday's meeting with the Springboks © Getty Images

Australia flanker Rocky Elsom is approaching 100% fitness and has set his sights firmly on defeating the World Champion Springboks in Perth on Saturday.

Elsom made his return to international action in last weekend's loss to the All Blacks in Sydney, a troublesome knee injury having prevented him from playing in the Wallabies' opening two Tri-Nations Tests after he returned from a year-long sabbatical with Heineken Cup champions Leinster.

Robbie Deans' Wallabies are yet to register a win in this year's tournament despite having led the Springboks and All Blacks in Tests so far, making Saturday's showdown a high-pressure proposition.

"There's always a lot of pressure because you are playing the best sides over and over. If you don't perform not only could you lose, but it could get embarrassing too," Elsom said. "There's always an element of pressure to perform and that doesn't change because we didn't get the win last week. It's not necessarily about pride, we want to beat South Africa because we think we can and they are the best team in the world at the moment."

Elsom's ankle was problematic early in the week, but he is feeling confident enough on it now and also in the Wallabies' lineout to overcome the problems the team had in Cape Town.

"Early on in the week I didn't do too much which probably helped and I had a run yesterday and today, and am feeling pretty good. It's going better than expected and I'm happy about that," he said. "A key thing for us is to back our options. Our execution during the week has been good, it was a bit of a step up last week again and what we are doing is fine, it's just about getting out there and doing it on the field.

"It's obvious they have the best lineout in the game so it won't be easy, but we think we have enough to do what we need to do there."


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