Rocky Elsom in full flight for Australia.
Rocky Elsom in full flight for Australia. SMP Images - Geoff Jones

Rocky off to Kobe

ROCKY Elsom's loss of form and back-to-back injuries over the last few years have been well documented in this column.

Since coming back from Europe in 2009, Elsom's form has been patchy at best, and ordinary at worst. You'd even question his worth to the Tahs, or any other super team.

But the funny thing about being a high-profile footy player with prior form is that more often than not, for a period at least, someone else will have use for you. And for a professional, that means another paid gig.

And so it is with Rocky. He's quite possibly played his last game in Australia and has been snapped up by Kobe Steel (member of the 14-team Japan Top League), for two years though to 2014.

The Japanese season follows the northern hemisphere timings of roughly September through March, which gives him time to recuperate and recover from his shoulder injury.

Sadly for us back in Australia we never got a chance to view Rocky at his best in this country. He played his best rugby overseas in the televisual wilderness, in the sense his games were not televised in Australia. As a result, Aussie rugby history will remember him as someone who never achieved his full potential.

We wish him all the best.


Will Foley coach the Tahs in 2013?

The Waratahs haven't had the best of years. And in the era of 'we want results! Now!', and boards being seen as proactive, something has to be done about it.

Not only have the Tahs underperformed when it comes to winning, their style of play has not been received favourably by, well, anyone excepting possibly the coaching staff and the players. It's like the perfect storm of anti-sports marketing: losing ugly. Try selling that to the sport-entertainment marketplace. As a result, attendance at Waratah home games has dropped significantly, as has positive media coverage.

And attendance is a primary revenue stream for Super teams, and positive press goes a long way to enhance a sporting organisation's image in the marketplace. The Tahs board must address this as its chief responsibility.

As the most important rugby market in this country (just pipping Brisbane), Sydney is where we need to develop 'winning attractively' as the vision. I'd even go so far as to have the ARU mandate it as the vision for rugby in this country: the awarding of player and coaching contracts, coaching and player development programs, and even junior rules should all be created with this vision in mind.

And it would appear the Tahs' board is looking to be proactive in addressing the 'losing ugly' issue. Even though the franchise still has two games to go, coach Foley fronted the board this week to review the season, and no doubt tried to convince members he could address the issues and take the team forward.

On the issue of whether he can, your guess is as good as mine.

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