Wednesday, December 03, 2008
With so many southern hemisphere stars plying their trade in France, the UK and Ireland, we like to keep track of whos doing what, and how life is going for them over at their respective clubs.
Rocky Elsom is a player weve highlighted here on RD before, as hes having a good time over at Leinster in Ireland. The last time he was shown, it was for his part in a scuffle, but this time its because hes on the end of a nice try scored against the Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend.
The home side got their Magners League title defence back on track with a 29-13 after Elsoms late try which came about after a great run from Girvan Dempsey. The great hands at the end were from David Holwell, sending Elsom over in the corner.
Former Wallaby international Elsom has relished the challenge at Leinster, as well as enjoying the new experience.
"On the field it's been a bit of a mixed bag with the Heineken Cup going very well but the Magners League matches haven't been going the way we would like", the 25-year-old admits.
"Away from the field, the move has been great. The people are very welcoming and I'm enjoying life in Dublin. The supporters are very different to what I am used to. Sydney fans are very reserved compared to the Dublin crowd, and they rarely single out players like they do here. It's something that I didn't expect here but it definitely adds to the experience.
"I knew a lot of the staff before I came here. Michael Cheika was obviously very successful at Randwick, which is my club in Australia, before joining Leinster, and Alan Gaffney was a coach at the Wallabies in 2005. And I played against Jono Gibbes for six years, so that part of it was pretty predictable."
Referring to his absence from the current Test team, Elsom has a positive outlook.
"It is good to have breaks from games from time to time. It helps to refresh your body and can lift your enthusiasm for playing. I can't say that anyone in the squad is out of shape or more out of shape than they were when I got here. And that is probably due to the fact that when there aren't any games there is very little stopping you from training.
"The team is very good and that helps -- no one likes playing in a dud side, regardless of how much you're being paid.
"But with good sides comes the responsibility or expectation to perform and bring success, which is certainly what I'd like to help do for the province. Leinster was an easy choice because I knew what I was getting, as far as the coaching staff goes.
"It is always a lottery, no matter how much you have heard about a coach or staff you never really know unless you've experienced it. Also, I like Dublin. I have been here a few times before this year -- and always had a good time -- so that helps."