Wallabies determined to win for retiring Sharpe

Last updated 09:27 27/11/2012
Nathan Sharpe
Getty Images
LAST HURRAH: Wallabies' captain Nathan Sharpe will bring down the curtain on his illustrious career against Wales this weekend.

Relevant offers


Eddie Jones teases Wallabies coach Michael Cheika over now-infamous clown cartoon Stuart Lancaster says Ireland can beat the All Blacks Tevita Taufui is set for Tonga's European tour after winning Waikato club award New Zealand star Bundee Aki eyes Irish test ranks after signing big extension to Connacht deal Ireland name 34-man squad to face All Blacks in Chicago test England turn to flanker Tom Wood in injury-hit rugby squad Residency rule is 'diluting' rugby, says former Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald 'Tongan Thor' Taniela Tupou selected for Wallabies European tour Chinese rugby gets big cash injection from internet giant Alibaba Black Ferns take step back but still far too good for Australia in second test

Adam Ashley-Cooper says four words will fuel the Wallabies for their European tour-ending clash with Wales this weekend in Cardiff.

"Do it for him."

Him being captain Nathan Sharpe in the 116th and final test match of his grand rugby career on Saturday at Millennium Stadium.

"That's all we'll need to say amongst the other players," Ashley-Cooper said.

"This game is about the jersey and Sharpey. We don't have to talk about it all week.

"We'll just say those simple words and that's all we need to remind everyone."

Ashley-Cooper left no doubt about the admiration the Wallabies had for their 34-year-old skipper, who gets a finale befitting his career that would have seemed highly improbable as recently as mid-year.

Only a fringe Rugby World Cup player last year and due to retire after the 2012 Super Rugby season, he was requested to play on due to the Wallabies' depleted second-row stocks and ended up as captain as injuries took further toll and his vast experience and ledership qualities stood out.

"We're trying to encourage him to stay ... he's a freak and he's getting better and we really want to win this game for him," Ashley-Cooper said.

Australia will be aiming for an eighth straight win over Wales, who are in serious trouble.

Last year's RWC semi-finalists and Six Nations champions suffered a sixth consecutive Test defeat when New Zealand beat them 33-10 in Cardiff last Saturday.

Half of those six losses came against the Wallabies, who swept them 3-0 in Australia earlier this year.

Ashley-Cooper admitted Saturday's 22-19 win over Italy was one of the most physical games he's played in 76 tests.

"For me, that first 10 to 20 minutes was probably one of the most intense and physical games I've been involved in," the utility back said.

"I think both teams shocked each other with how physical it was out there and we're expecting another very tough clash against Wales.

"I reckon they are pretty keen to play us off the back of the series that we won earlier in the year.

"They've had some pretty disappointing losses and we know we're facing a team in a pretty tough situation.

"Teams generally are better when they are at their most desperate."

Ashley-Cooper believes a major factor in Australia's poor showing in the second half against Italy was the opposition disrupting their set piece, particularly the lineout.

"The set piece ball was a big factor. You have to value set-piece ball, particularly in Europe," he said.

Ad Feedback

"We need to really tidy up our set piece if we want to get a result against Wales."


Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the better Springboks lock?

Bakkies Botha

Victor Matfield

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content