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Nathan Charles Sharpe

  • 116Caps
  • 774Wallaby Number
  • 44Age
PositionLock
Date Of Birth26 February 1978
Place Of BirthWagga Wagga, NSW
SchoolThe Southport School
Debut ClubUniversity (QLD)
Other ClubsRockingham (W.A.)
ProvinceQLD
Other ProvinceWestern Force
Debut Test Match2002 Wallabies v France, 1st Test Melbourne
Final Test Match2012 Wallabies v Wales, 4th Test Cardiff

Biography

Born in the Riverina district of New South Wales, Nathan Sharpe was a superb lineout exponent whose consistency and longevity allowed him to play more than 100 Tests and captain his country.

Sharpe moved to the Gold Coast at age 11 where he attended The Southport School. He was school Captain, played in the 1st XV and rowed in the 1st VIII in both 1994 and 1995. National representation soon followed both at schoolboy and then aged levels where Sharpe captained the U19s as well as the U21s.

In 1998, Sharpe debuted for Queensland against Scotland at Ballymore however he had to wait four years before he made the final step to national honours. The retirement of John Eales in 2002 finally opened the door for Sharpe to make his Test debut - against France in Melbourne. His arrival on the international scene was capped when he went on to win the Australian ‘Rookie of the Year’.

In 2004, Sharpe became the 72nd Wallaby captain, he attended three Rugby World Cups and he twice won the John Eales Medal (2007 and 2012).

Over the course of his decorated 12-year international career Sharpe won 116 Test caps (equal third of all-time as at end-2017) and captained his country on 10 occasions.

Highlights

1995

Represented Australian Schools against New Zealand Schools.

1996

Captained Australian U19s

1997

Represented Australian U21s when they won the Southern Hemisphere tournament.

1998

Represented Australian U21s

1999

Captained Australian U21s

2002

Sharpe won his first Test cap when he started at lock in the 1st Test, 29-17 victory over France in Melbourne. He was in the run-on XV for the next five Tests before a shoulder injury saw him ruled out of the end-of-season Spring Tour.

2003

Sharpe played in all 14 Wallaby Tests and won a place in the squad for the Rugby World Cup. He partnered Justin Harrison in the tournament final against England.

2004

Sharpe started at lock in the opening eight Tests of the year. In just his 25th Test, and following an injury to George Gregan, he was named as captain for the 1st Test against New Zealand in Wellington. Sharpe was rested from the Spring Tour in the hope that he would recover from injuries to both shoulders.

2005

Sharpe was selected at lock in all 13 internationals. He scored his first Test tries in the 74-7 defeat of Samoa in Sydney.

2006

As he did in 2003 and again in 2005, Sharpe played every Wallaby Test of the year (13). In the 3rd Test, 16-24 loss to South Africa in Johannesburg, Sharpe won his 50th cap.

2007

Sharpe accumulated 10 Test caps and was picked in his second Rugby World Cup squad. He started four of the five matches during the tournament at lock. Sharpe capped his season when he won his first John Eales Medal.

2008

He earned a further 10 Test caps throughout the 2008 season.

2009

Sharpe played in five of the opening six Tests but injured his shoulder in the 2nd Test against New Zealand. As a consequence he missed the Spring Tour in order to undergo corrective surgery.

2010

Sharpe returned to play all bar one of the Wallabies’ 15 Tests. In the 2nd Test, 10-20 loss to New Zealand Sharpe surpassed John Eales (84) as Australia’s most-capped lock forward.

2011

Sharpe won eight Test caps and selection to his third Rugby World Cup. Sharpe became the fifth Wallaby to play 100 Tests when selected at lock for the bronze medal match against Wales in Auckland,

2012

In something of a fairytale finish to his distinguished career Sharpe played all 15 Tests, the last eight as captain and won a second John Eales Medal.

Nathan Charles Sharpe