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    Force plan big Sharpe farewell

    2012-06-26 11:24
    Sydney - Retiring Force lock Nathan Sharpe admits he'll probably shed a tear when he plays his final Super Rugby match in Perth on Saturday.

    "But not while we're playing," the 34-year-old veteran said with a laugh.

    Sharpe, who will retire at season's end, will be the centre of attention when the Force take on the high-flying Brumbies at nib Stadium.

    The match will be Sharpe's last in front of the 'Sea of Blue' Force faithful, and the powerful lock is intent on celebrating the occasion with a win.

    Sharpe, who became the Force's foundation captain when he switched from the Reds in 2006, expressed his love of playing in front of Perth crowds for the past six years.

    But with the emotion building ahead of Saturday's game, Sharpe said he had to be careful not to become overwhelmed by the occasion.

    "Because if I sit around and let emotion get in the way of it, I'll probably be a blubbering mess the whole week," Sharpe said.

    After this week's home farewell, Sharpe will finish his Super Rugby duties with games against the Blues and Crusaders in New Zealand.

    Sharpe had planned to slip quietly into retirement after that, but pushed those plans back by an extra few months to help out the Wallabies in the upcoming Rugby Championship.

    The Brumbies sit on top of the Australian conference, and will be nervously waiting to see how the 13th-placed Force react to Sharpe's big day.

    Sharpe said he was disappointed not to have tasted more success at the Force, but was proud of the way the franchise had engaged the community over the past six years.

    The Force are expected to unveil their new coach within the next fortnight, and Sharpe said he was more than willing to help the club out in whatever way they needed next season.

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    Fixtures

    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
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