The West

Wallabies plead for Sharpe to stay in pack
Nathan Sharpe. Picture: Getty Images

Nathan Sharpe is considering extending his international career but has no plans to make a shock comeback at the Western Force in Super Rugby next season.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has asked his captain to shelve retirement for the second time and join next month's Europe tour.

Sharpe's performances left Deans and Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neil with no alternative but to ask him to take part in the four-Test tour of Italy, France, England and Wales. "I am taking a couple of days to dwell and will make a decision shortly," Sharpe said.

But he would "definitely" not play next year.

Sharpe, who played 92 games for the Force, always maintained that he would retire from Super Rugby at the club. He had been chased by Brumbies coach Jake White.

Force coach Michael Foley would be delighted if Sharpe played on.

"If Nathan was to consider playing on we'd be open to exploring that possibility," he said.

"His form this year in Super Rugby and more recently at Test level has shown that he still has a lot to give both through his leadership and on-field performance.

"He has a great connection with Perth, a great history with the Force and I know that he has invested an enormous amount of himself in establishing the club in the seven seasons he played here."

Sharpe, Australia's most capped forward who notched his 111th game against Argentina last weekend, had planned to retire at the end of the Super Rugby season.

But he was persuaded to play in the Rugby Championship after the Wallabies were hit by injuries.

·Dual international Brad Thorn, 38, is set to write the final chapter in his career by returning to Super Rugby with the Highlanders.

The West Australian

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