Sharpe to re-sign with the Force - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharpe to re-sign with the Force

Justin Chadwick 12/04/2011 06:49:43 PM Comments (0)

In a rare piece of good news for the struggling Western Force, skipper Nathan Sharpe is set to re-sign with the Perth-based franchise for another Super Rugby season.

Sharpe, who with 139 Super Rugby games to his name is the competition's most capped player, is set to put pen to paper as early as Wednesday in a move that will see the 33-year-old Wallabies lock finish his career in Perth.

The Force, who have already locked in David Pocock and Cameron Shepherd for next season, are hopeful fellow Wallabies James O'Connor, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson and Pek Cowan will follow Sharpe's lead once their Australian Rugby Union contracts have been sorted.

Sharpe's commitment to the Force will no doubt lift spirits within the camp after what has been a dismal start to the season.

The Force sit last in the Australian conference after notching just one win and a draw from eight outings.

And with games against the Brumbies (away), Bulls (home), Crusaders (home) and Waratahs (away) to come in the next month, the Force could be in for some more pain.

Meanwhile, five-eighth Willie Ripia said the Force were keen to atone for last week's 31-3 loss to the Waratahs with a strong showing against the Brumbies in Canberra on Sunday.

"Frustrating's probably an understatement to be honest," Ripia said of the feeling amongst the players.

"But we can make amends on Sunday and it's up to us to do so."

Ripia, who spent the first seven weeks of the season on the sidelines, said he had fully recovered from a niggling foot tendon injury.

"It's fine mate, I think I'm just more worried about the lungs at the moment," the former Hurricane said.

"It had been a while since I played 80 minutes.

"It was awful (when I was injured), especially being in the moon boot.

"I could have been sitting there sulking but I didn't."

Cameron Shepherd, who fell heavily on his shoulder and head last week, was restricted to light duties at training on Tuesday but is expected to take on the Brumbies.

Ripia had little chance to showcase any attacking flair last week as the Force were starved of possession.

But the 25-year-old hopes both he and O'Connor, who played fullback last week, would get more opportunities against the Brumbies.

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