WARATAHS skipper Rocky Elsom has been cut from the Wallabies by coach Robbie Deans less than a year after being stripped of the national captaincy.
And with the ARU expecting the blindside flanker to take up opportunities in Japan or France in 2013, the No.6 may have played his last game in the green and gold jumper.
Waratahs contacts in South Africa last night confirmed Elsom, who suffered a shoulder injury in last week's loss to the Lions, had been overlooked for the upcoming Tests against Scotland and Wales.
After pushing through last year's World Cup with serious leg and shoulder injuries, it's likely the official line will be that Elsom has been rested to continue his recovery from eight months on the sidelines. Elsom has had limited game time since making his Super Rugby return last month.
Elsom stands to lose in excess of $40,000 by not playing the series.
Considered one of the Wallabies' greatest ever No.6s it will be the first time - when available - that Elsom hasn't been selected for the Wallabies since making his Test debut in 2005.
Should Elsom miss two more matches this season, he will fail to activate a clause in his contract which gives him an opportunity to continue at the Waratahs on his current salary. And while Waratahs coaching staff want to retain Elsom - who, when fit, is one of rugby's most devastating players - it's understood Waratahs management are prepared to let Elsom leave at year's end to pursue significant offers in either Japan or France.
His departure would save the Waratahs and ARU in excess of $300,000 and $400,000 respectively.