Rocky Elsom reacted with a typical lack of fuss after he was sensationally axed as Wallaby skipper Thursday, just weeks before the World Cup in New Zealand.
The bombshell announcement of Australia's 30-man squad for next month's tournament saw Elsom dumped as captain after 24 internationals in charge.
He was replaced by lock James Horwill, who becomes Australia's 77th Test captain on the back of leading the Reds to this year's Super Rugby southern hemisphere championship.
The decision was made on Monday already, but it was agreed that Elsom would wait until just before Thursday's World Cup squad announcement to break it to his teammates.
Pressure had been building on Elsom over his taciturn leadership and the belief that his position at blindside flank was not guaranteed, with a strong challenge for the No.6 jersey coming from Scott Higginbotham.
Elsom, 28, appeared to have cemented his position with a robust game in the Wallabies' courageous 14-9 win over the Springboks in Durban last weekend.
But coach Robbie Deans delivered a shock at Thursday's squad announcement when he gave the captaincy to Horwill ahead of next week's Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand in Brisbane, the Wallabies' final run out before the World Cup.
"It's the way it goes. I mean, it's in the nature of the sport; you're always up for selection," Elsom told reporters.
"We all want the same thing now so it's all heading towards that.
"I think it's important that everyone gets behind the captain, it can be a difficult job at times and you need everyone right behind you there."
It was also revealed how Elsom delivered the message to the team.
"There's going to be a change in direction," Elsom told the assembled of group of 30 anointed Wallabies in their hotel.
"As of the photo call today [Thursday] James [Horwill] will be taking over."
Deans, who reinforced his reputation for making big selection calls by also snubbing 92-capped back Matt Giteau for the World Cup squad, praised Elsom for the graceful way in which he handled losing the captaincy.
"Rocky's response was impressive and spontaneous and he simply said 'whatever was in the best interests of the team', so he remains an important person and important leader within the group," Deans said.
"It is well documented that Rocky came into the Test season off a limited background in terms of preparation, having missed all but 60 minutes of Super Rugby due to injury.
"As the incumbent captain, he warranted the opportunity to continue in the role but it has become clear that the additional responsibility has been a distraction that Rocky doesn't need.
"He can now really concentrate on getting himself in the right shape without having any peripheral demands, because there are a lot of peripheral demands around the captaincy."
Elsom at times appeared an uncomfortable fit as the public face of the Wallabies and Horwill will offer a different 'media friendly' approach.
The flank backed Horwill as a good choice to take over as team captain.
"I think Kev [Horwill] will do a really good job and pretty well everyone on the side wants the same thing and we're pushing very hard for that," he said.
Horwill said Elsom was the first person he spoke to after learning he would lead Australia to New Zealand next month.
"He's a very good friend of mine and that conversation between me and him was fantastic," he said.
"He was very supportive of me and I want to use him as much as possible because I think he is a great leader and someone that this team needs to be part of this group to move forward and be successful.
"Rocky's a guy who doesn't speak unnecessarily and, when he talks, the whole group listens.
"That's just one of many things that he as a leader I've learnt from."
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