Force lose Hill to ankle injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Force lose Hill to ankle injury

14/05/2010 12:24:29 PM Comments (0)

Western Force captain Nathan Sharpe admits the team is desperate to atone for last week's error-riddled 29-14 Super 14 loss to the Cheetahs, but they will have to do it without five-eighth David Hill.

Hill has been ruled out of Friday's (0310 AEST Saturday) clash with the Sharks in Durban due to an ankle injury, meaning he has played his last game for the Force.

The 31-year-old arrived at the Force in February on loan from Japanese side Toshiba as a replacement for former Springbok marquee Andre Pretorius, who tore his hamstring off the bone in the week leading up to round one.

"It has been really great experience (at the Force)," Hill said.

"I suppose it could have gone either way not having played Super Rugby for a while but it obviously worked out really well and is something that I'll remember for a long time.

"As a team we've spent a lot of time together in a short period so you end up getting to know people pretty well.

"Like most teams you play with, you end up forming friendships for life."

Hill will head home to New Zealand for a couple of weeks break before returning to Japan on June 1 to start pre-season training with Toshiba.

Mark Bartholomeusz will replace Hill at flyhalf against the Sharks.

Force errors handed the Cheetahs four first-half tries last week and Sharpe said a repeat of those fumbles would be unacceptable.

"All four of their tries came from basic errors and you can't afford to do that," Sharpe said.

"Everyone's keen to make amends for last week but also we want to capitalise on the good work and on the way we've gone forward this year, particularly a lot of the guys who have had their first experience at Super 14 level."

The ninth-placed Sharks have won six of their past seven games and Sharpe said it was the perfect test for the Force to finish their season on.

"They're very strong up front, it's going to be a physical night," Sharpe said.

"They've also got the knowledge and smarts to play wide.

"They knocked off the Stormers last week, they're going to be riding high.

"But we come in with plenty to prove to ourselves."

Sharpe, who was able to complete a full pre-season with the Force after returning home early from Wallabies duty due to a serious shoulder injury, has been a shining light for the Perth-based franchise this year.

"Being injury free (during the Super 14 campaign) has certainly made a big difference to me this season," he said.

"I've been able to train at full pace and that has obviously benefited my performances in matches and my overall contribution to the team."

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