Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Sharpe excited by final tour

Nathan Sharpe is hoping to end his career on a high

Australia captain Nathan Sharpe is looking forward to bringing the curtain down on his storied career on their upcoming European tour.

The Wallabies meet France, England, Italy and Wales over the next month and the 34-year-old - who won his second John Eales Medal as his country's best player on Thursday - is relishing the chance to go on one final trip.

"It is a good opportunity for the guys to get away with each other," Sharpe said. "We are used to touring for long periods with Super Rugby or even Test matches within the Rugby Championship. We play and travel and play and travel. It may be an extra week on tour but I know the guys are keen to get up there and do the country proud."

The lock is particularly excited about renewing hostilities with old enemy England at Twickenham, with Sharpe the only member of the current Wallabies squad who was part of the losing team in the 2003 World Cup final in Sydney.

The last time they played England the Wallabies were on the wrong end of a 35-18 thumping at Twickenham, and Sharpe is looking for a reversal of fortune on November 17.

"They will obviously be keen to replicate that again against us but for us it is a great rivalry with England and I know all the guys will be looking forward to that game once we have played France," Sharpe said. "It (Twickenham) is a tremendous stadium and regardless of the result it is a great rugby atmosphere. It is one of the destinations in the world that you want to play rugby at."

Sharpe is looking forward to the return of injured trio Berrick Barnes, David Pocock and Stephen Moore, and reckons their inclusion will be a boon for the squad.

"The guys that are coming back with some experience, Berrick (Barnes), Stephen Moore and David Pocock, it is fantastic to have those guys back," he said. "What has happened is that guys have come in and done a great job in keeping the team going along and it only adds to that.

"The more experience and more exposure players can get at this level the better it is for Australian rugby and hopefully we will see that on this trip."

Australia kick off their tour against France in Paris on November 10.

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