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Rugby World Cup: Leamy Reserves Praise for Elsom

Posted on September 15, 2011 by Thomas Rooney

Rocky Elsom leads the Aussie team.

Denis Leamy believes Australia’s Rocky Elsom has had a huge impact on the Irish back-row.

The Wallaby was a key part of Leinster’s success during the one season he was with the club and transferred his knowledge and experience to other members of the squad.

In 2009, Elsom’s final game was his most important, putting in a man-of-the-match performance to help Leinster win the Heineken Cup.

He signed off in style before returning to his homeland to reclaim his place in the national side.

As those in Ireland Rugby Shirts prepare to face Elsom and Australia on Sunday at Eden Park, Leamy insists the 28-year-old was seen as a role model and had a huge impact on the careers of former Leinster team-mates Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip.

O’Brien has followed in the footsteps of Elsom by claiming the European Player of the Year two years later, while Heaslip has become one of the best number eights in World rugby.

Leamy, the Munster back row, saluted the impact Elsom had on Ireland as his side prepare to go into battle with the Australian in their second games of the World Cup.

“Rocky had quite a big impact on Irish rugby during the brief time he was playing in Ireland,” said Leamy, the Munster back row.

“In his time at Leinster he was excellent, from what I could gather looking in. He brought on the guys around him.

“He’s left a bit of a legacy there. Jamie and Sean were younger than him and he’s definitely rubbed off on them.

“You can see the dynamism in their game, it’s very similar to the way Rocky plays.”

Elsom is classed as one of the best Rugby players in the world and, despite losing the Wallabies captaincy three weeks ago, is hitting form just at the right time, much like he did towards the end of the Tri Nations series.

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