Wallabies rugby great Tim Horan wants Australia coach Robbie Deans to relieve Rocky Elsom of the Test captaincy so the injured flanker can return to his rampaging best for the Rugby World Cup.
Horan fears Elsom's recurring hamstring troubles and the "burden" of leadership will prevent the Australian skipper being the back-row force he needs to be to lift the World Cup.
Elsom has missed the first six weeks of Super Rugby this season and is not expected to return to action until the Brumbies face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in round 11 at the end of April.
The 28-year-old would then have six matches to prove himself worthy of his Wallabies No.6 jersey, but Horan said there would be a question mark over his form and fitness at the start of the Test season against Samoa on July 17.
The 80-Test back and former Wallabies selector felt a naturally "insular" Elsom, crowned the European player of 2008-09 after a barnstorming season with Leinster, was inhibited by leadership in 2010 and needed the extra weight taken off his shoulders.