Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Sharpe to assist Wallabies

Nathan Sharpe brought the curtain down on his 116-Test international career late last year

Former Australia star Nathan Sharpe has joined the Wallabies' coaching team ahead of the highly-anticipated Test series against the British and Irish Lions which begins in June.

Sharpe, who brought the curtain down on his 116-Test international career late last year, will assist coach Robbie Deans and his staff by working with the Wallabies' forwards.

"It was nice to be asked to be involved," Sharpe said. "I'm looking forward to doing all I can to help get the team ready for what is coming. It's a once-every-12-years opportunity isn't it?"

Sharpe never got the chance to face the Lions and even though he called it quits a matter of months before their historic tour of Australia, the 35-year-old insisted he had no regrets about his decision to pull the pin.

"I'd like to have played for Australia against the Lions but it wasn't to be," Sharpe said.

"The fact that you can play for 11 seasons at Test level as I did and not get to play against them shows both how rare the opportunity is, but also how much of a privilege it will be for the guys that get to represent the Wallabies in this series."

Deans said it was not a difficult decision to bring Sharpe into the Wallabies coaching set-up.

"His experience, leadership and tactical nous will be available to both the playing group and the coaching staff as it was last year," Deans said.

"That's a great resource for us to have, given the unique nature of the British and Irish Lions. It also provides him with an opportunity he deserves to have an active role with the Wallabies in what will be a very special series."

The combined team's tour of Australia kicks off on June 5 when they face the Western Force in Perth.

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