Force

Sharpe to get 100th cap against Stormers

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Emirates Western Force Captain Nathan Sharpe will join a distinguished club of Australian Rugby players when he registers his 100th Super Rugby cap this Friday night against the Stormers at Subiaco Oval.


Team captain since the inception of the Emirates Western Force in 2006, Sharpe has played in all but three matches for the Perth-based team after tallying 70 caps in eight seasons with the Queensland Reds.


The twice Wallabies Captain will become the seventh Australian player to reach the century mark in Super Rugby, joining an elite group which includes the names George Gregan, Chris Whitaker, Stephen Larkham, Bill Young, Jeremy Paul and George Smith.


The Wagga-Wagga born lock has ticked all the boxes in an eleven-year international career, representing Australian Under 19s and Under 21s before embarking on a 64-Test career for the Wallabies including two Rugby World Cup campaigns.


Sharpe said his 100th Super Rugby match will be a feat to reflect on post-career.


‘It’s one of those milestones that creeps up on you as you get older but It’s something I’ll look back on when its all over and be extremely proud,’ said Sharpe.


‘The exciting thing for me is that I’m looking forward to a few more years in the game and have hopefully got plenty of rugby left in me.’


At 30 years of age, Sharpe has reached the ‘100 club’ relatively early in his career, but concedes there is no secret to his durability.


‘You have to play at least eight years of non-stop rugby to get to 100 (caps) and I’ve been lucky to have not missed too many games throughout my career,’ he said.


‘I’m not sure what the secret is. I’m not too impressive with my shirt off but (my body) must be held together pretty well,’ he joked.


The milestone will cap a huge month for Sharpe, who three weeks ago inked a new contract with the Emirates Western Force and the ARU to secure his future in Australia, and Perth, until post 2011 Rugby World Cup.


Sharpe said the team ‘won’t make a lot of fuss’ over his milestone on Friday night, while the skipper’s focus remains firmly on helping his side to a maiden Super 14 finals berth.


‘We’re in a great position after the (NZ) tour, and with five home games to go and a couple of short trips away, we have a prefect opportunity to give the competition a shake.’


Fellow inaugural Emirates Western Force team member Tai McIsaac will celebrate his 50th Super Rugby cap in Friday night’s clash with the Stormers.


McIsaac is the only player to play every match for the Club since it’s inception in 2006. The Subiaco Oval clash will be his 33rd consecutive match for the WA team.


FACT FILE:

Nathan Sharpe

Position: Lock
Physical: 2.00m, 115kg
Born: 26.02.78, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Club: Rockingham
Super 14 Caps: 99 (70 Reds, 29 EWF)
Super 14 Points: 35 [7t]
Super 14 Debut: 1998 v Hurricanes (Reds)

Test Caps: 64
Test Points: 30 [6t]
Test Debut: 2002 v France

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