Rocky Elsom gets a warm welcome at Tewantin State School.
Rocky Elsom gets a warm welcome at Tewantin State School. Darryn Smith

Cup clock's ticking fast for Rocky

THERE are only two types of days for Rocky Elsom – days when he runs and days when he does not run.

The Noosa product and Wallabies skipper was back at his old stomping ground of the Tewantin primary school yesterday as he continued his race against time to be fit for the World Cup.

The Brumbies flanker has not pulled on a pair of boots this year after succumbing to a recurring hamstring injury.

The 28-year-old has not set a return date, but it is understood the ACT coaching staff has tentatively pencilled him in for the side's South African tour, which begins at the end of this month.

Elsom said he had devoted himself 24 hours a day, seven days a week to his rehabilitation, but was taking a cautious approach to his return to the field.

He said if it were up to him, he would already be back on the pitch, helping out his Brumbies teammates. They have limped to a 2-5 start to the Super 15 season.

Rattling around in the back of his mind, however, is the fact he has been plagued by the same problem since 2003.

“It's taken a long time, but I don't want to have it again,” he told the Daily yesterday.

“It's been easy for me to focus on because I have the days that I'm running and the days that I'm not. On those other days I'm working on my strength.

“Even though you have a lot of time, you don't have as many days as you think and you've got to get the most out of them.

“I've just been trying to focus on the recovery.

“You could be thinking about all the games you could be playing, but that doesn't help, does it.”

Elsom went on a whirlwind visit of Noosa yesterday, visiting his old school as well as the Noosa Rugby Union club and Tewantin shopping centre.

The All Blacks have been installed as $1.70 favourites for the World Cup, but there is a growing belief the Australians, buoyed by the form of the table-topping Queensland Reds, will be there come the October 23 final.

Most believe the Wallabies' chances will hinge on the availability of Elsom and his injured back-row partner, David Pocock.

Elsom says, however, the side must take a holistic approach to the race for the William Webb Ellis Cup, and much of the national side's focus should be on getting the five Australian Super 15 teams to fire in the final 11 rounds of the season.

“Anything can happen – it's a unique tournament,” he said.

“I think for us, as much as you want to talk about how it's going to go, the best thing you can do is just focus on your province.

“If we had five teams that were performing really well, then we'd be in the best shape we could be.

“At the moment we've got a couple of teams that are going pretty well, one that is doing okay and another two that want to improve pretty badly, so we've got a bit of work to do here.

“I think that's the best thing to focus on at the moment.”

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