Force plan big Sharpe farewell
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
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
"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
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.