One of the likely stars of the next Lions tour will finally return to action this weekend.
Rocky Elsom is expected to wear the No6 shirt for the Wallabies when the Lions head Down Under in 2013 but injury has made it hard for him to cement his claims over the past year-and-a-half.
The Waratahs blindside has featured in just one Super Rugby game in 18 months due to hamstring and shoulder injuries and has yet to play for his new side after leaving the Brumbies earlier this year.
Elsom lost the Wallaby captaincy prior to the Tri Nations decider with the All Blacks in August, with hamstring troubles preventing him from hitting top form as his team topped the southern hemisphere’s premier tournament.
And although he went on to play his part in six of his country’s games at the 2011 World Cup, more problems with his hamstring have ensured he hasn’t played since the semi-final defeat to New Zealand.
"I'm happy to be back," said Elsom, who will skipper the Waratahs in their clash with the Rebels in
"I knew it would be a long haul when I had the surgery but it will be great to be free from restriction.
"Playing is the first step, even if it's just a small amount at first. It's about getting back and being effective for the team and that's all I will be looking for at the moment."
Elsom has the potential to be a series winner for the Wallabies when they host the Lions in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in just over 14 months time.
The 29-year-old has plenty of experience of the British and Irish game having spent a season with
Elsom won 11 man-of-the-match awards in 13 appearances for the Irish side and guided them to a first Heineken Cup crown with victory over