27 Aug 2008

Guilty Elsom rubbed out for Jo'burg

9:13 am on 27 August 2008

The Wallabies flanker Rocky Elsom will miss Sunday's Tri-Nations rugby Test against South Africa in Johannesburg after he was finally suspended by the SANZAR judiciary for dangerous play

Elsom was the man-of-the-match in Australia's drought-breaking 12-point win against the Springboks in Durban last week but will miss this week's game, for pulling down the Springboks jumper Victor Matfield in a lineout. The citing commissioner postponed the decision until overnight.

Australia's team at Ellis Park will now take on the look of the near future without Elsom and injured lock Dan Vickerman, who's out with a shoulder injury. Both bow out of Test rugby when they head to Europe at the end of the season.

Reinforcement Nathan Sharpe has joined his team-mates at their base north of Durban but could find himself down the pecking order below rising stars Dean Mumm and Hugh McMenimanm, all vying for the blindside flanker position and one of the lock spots.

Coach Robbie Deans says the team would deal with the challenge of his omission.

Australia have only once won successive Tests in South Africa, in 1963.