Elsom out as Hynes Talks Up Tuqiri

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Byline: Rugby Union By DAVID BENIUK

ROCKY Elsom's return to the Wallabies has been put on hold, with the star flanker ruled out of Saturday night's Test against Italy in Canberra.

Elsom was unable to train yesterday and underwent further assessment on his injured knee, which is tender and bruised around the bone.

Officials say the injury is worse than at first thought but have not put a timeframe on when the 40-Test star will be available.

Elsom's first game for Australia since last year's Tri-Nations series has been much anticipated after he was released to play with Irish side Leinster.

The rampaging No.6 was man-of-the-match in Europe's Heineken Cup final two weeks ago and is in some of the best form of his career. His injury surfaced when he was ruled out of the Barbarians side for last Saturday's clash, won 55-7 by Australia.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, who will name his team today, is now faced with a selection headache after his No.6 last Saturday, Matt Hodgson, injured an AC joint, ruling him out for three weeks.

Dean Mumm is the most likely replacement at blindside flanker, with a regular openside such as Phil Waugh or David Pocock also a possibility to wear the No. …