Elsom set to replace Mumm as Waratahs captain

Waratahs vice captain and lock Dean Mumm is expected to be left out of the Tahs leadership group for the 2012 Super Rugby season but he is happy with the decision if it helps his career.

Mumm has been Waratahs vice captain for the last two years and was acting captain for half of the 2011 season when Phil Waugh was injured.

The leadership group will be crucial to the Waratahs this season as it is also expected that Rocky Elsom will be named as captain even though he is expected to miss the first month of Super Rugby.

New coach Micheal Foley says that he has no problem with his captain being unavailable for part of the season.

“You could never say with certainty your captain is going to play every game of the season,” Foley said.

“Even Waughy was off the field a fair bit in the last few years. We have some very experienced guys in our leadership group.”

The new leadership group is expected to contain Rocky Elsom, Dan Vickerman, Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Carter, Berrick Barnes, Rob Horne and Drew Mitchell.

Foley and Mumm are hoping that by removing the captaincy responsibilities he will be able to focus on his game more and hopefully win back his place in the Wallabies.

“I have spoken to Foles and I am happy with the reasoning behind it, and I am pretty happy with the boys that are in (the leadership group),” Mumm told the Herald Sun.

“It gives me a great opportunity just to concentrate on my footy and at the end of the day that’s what Foles wants me to do.”

“He wants me to play at the best of my ability and if that means minimising my involvement off field, or just simplify my decision making on field, then so be it and I am happy to embrace that. I would like to be in it but I am also content to not be in it.

“Obviously with Wallabies selection it wasn’t a great year for me last year and I have come to terms with that. “

“There are areas I want to work on and areas Foles wants me to work on as well, so in terms of the leadership thing, it gives me no excuse not to nail those and play well.”

Mumm said that he never felt burdened by being captain even though his record last year stood at 4 wins and 4 losses.

“It was an absolute pleasure captaining the Waratahs, but it is a different proposition I think captaining a side for a season than it is captaining the side for a couple of games here and there,” he said.

Mumm hopes that he can play his way back into the Wallabies line up this season and says he wants to add a more physical side to his game in 2012.

“I thought I was a bit more consistent last year but lacked the impact that perhaps people wanted to see me have to play for the Wallabies,” he said.

“I suppose when you get to that level, high work rate and consistency of effort is expected, that’s the benchmark, and then you’ve got to add impact from there.

“That type of impact is what I am going to look to improve this season.”

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