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Sharpe announces retirement date

Australia lock Nathan Sharpe has announced that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of the upcoming Super Rugby campaign with Western Force, ruling out him making farewell appearances against Scotland and Wales.

Sharpe, a 33-year-old veteran of 101 Test caps, said: "I've had a wonderful time playing rugby, have seen some pretty special things over my time and cherished every single moment of it.

"It's not the end right now, I still have some goals I want to achieve this season."

He continued: "My last game of professional rugby will be wearing the...Western Force jersey. It is an emotional time for me, it's one of those decisions you mull over and think 'are you going too early or too late' and I wasn't really sure of that until recently.

"I've been incredibly lucky right through my career to have been involved with some great people and great teams.

"I've got one more shot at winning a title and I don't intend on fading away, I want to finish with my best Super Rugby season yet, that's the way I want to exit the game."

Sharpe, who made his Test debut in 2002, featured in three Rugby World Cup campaigns.

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