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Page last updated at 08:17 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 09:17 UK

Elsom appointed Australia captain

Rocky Elsom lays down the law in Australia's game against New Zealand on 19 September
Elsom will not shy away from laying down the law

Former Leinster flanker Rocky Elsom has been appointed Australia captain in place of Stirling Mortlock.

The 26-year-old will lead a 35-man squad on the Wallabies' Grand Slam tour of the British Isles in November.

Mortlock, 32, suffered a serious knee injury against South Africa in August but is included in the tour party.

"Rocky has the respect of his team-mates because of his approach and the total commitment he brings," said Australia coach Robbie Deans.

"Stirling has indicated a desire to continue not only to play but also to lead and we respect that.

"He has done a good job as Australian skipper, both before I became involved, and over the last 16 months.


"He also understands that this initiative has no meaning in terms of his playing future."

Mortlock, who has 80 caps for Australia, has been in talks with Japanese club Kyuden Vortex about a possible move and will reveal his future before the end of 2009.

Elsom signed a two-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union in June after returning from a season in Ireland, where he played a key role in Leinster's Heineken Cup triumph.

Fly-half Berrick Barnes has been appointed vice-captain for the trip, but Australia will be without lock Nathan Sharpe and flanker Phil Waugh because of injury.

Australia kick off the tour with a Test against New Zealand in Tokyo on 31 October before matches against England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in November.

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see also
Australia lock Sharpe out of tour
08 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
England receive Borthwick boost
06 Oct 09 |  English
Australia 18-19 New Zealand
22 Aug 09 |  Rugby Union

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