Flanker Dan Elsom is saying goodbye to Bishop's Stortford RFC and returning home to Sydney in Australia
Bishop's Stortford are losing popular flanker Dan Elsom who is returning to live in Australia.
Elsom has been one of the most consistent players over the past four seasons and was picked to represent Hertfordshire, but now he has decided to move back to Sydney.
Tributes have been paid to the 26-year-old who played such a key role in Stortford's recent success.
Former head coach Andy Long brought Elsom over from Australia back in 2016.
He said: "Dan will always have a place in the history of Stortford rugby club.
"He was a great servant of the club for several years and was a very important part of our success in that period.
'He was a very good player and a very positive influence both inside and outside the dressing room.
'I would like to wish him all the very best on his return to Australia."
Elsom told the Indie: "It's not going to be easy leaving Bishop's Stortford, and it's certainly not a decision I made lightly.
"I've loved my four years here and couldn't thank the club enough for welcoming me and supporting me along the way.
"This year has really forced people to take a step back and re-evaluate things.
"For me, I felt it was time to focus more on life outside of rugby and embark on something new back home in Sydney.
"Bishop's Stortford RFC should be really proud of where it sits in the English rugby system now, having grown from a community club to a semi-professional outfit.
"I've never known a club to possess such an abundance of homegrown talent and it's impressive to see how competitive that core of local players has made Stortford when going up against some of the more traditional National 1 clubs.
"Along with recruiting in the right way, and under the guidance of the likes of Andy Long, Tom Coleman and Marcus Cattell, the club really has managed to get the balance between professionalism and community rugby just right over the last few years.
"With plenty of time to build into a new season in September 2021, I'm confident Tom and Marcus will continue to take the club from strength to strength."
Elsom first arrived in Bishop's Stortford in August 2016 and helped the club get promoted to National League 1 in his first season.
Meanwhile, the start of the proposed cup competition involving National League teams has been postponed until at least February due to clubs not being allowed to travel out of or into Tier 3 areas to play matches.