Sharpe to shelve Wallabies retirement
Sharpe to shelve Wallabies retirement

Western Force veteran Nathan Sharpe has answered an SOS from the Wallabies to shelve his retirement and will join the four-Test tour of Europe next month.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans asked his captain to extend his international career for the second time after the squad was hit by a huge injury toll.

Sharpe, Australia's most capped forward with111 appearances, will now be available for the Tests against France, England, Italy and Wales.

Sharpe, 34, had originally planned to retire at the end of the last Super Rugby season but agreed to play through the Rugby Championship and final Bledisloe match later this month after stand-out performances in the three-Test series against Wales in June.

However he has no plans to extend his Super Rugby career at the Western Force next season.

Sharpe, who played162 Super Rugby games - 92for the Force -always maintained that he would retire from Super Rugby at the Force. 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."

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The West Australian

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