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Thread: Force no strangers to controversy, says Sharpe

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    Veteran Swee_82's Avatar
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    Force no strangers to controversy, says Sharpe

    Alot of re-hashing, but some news on the injury front- Sharpie and Sheps back for 1st S14 game- sharpie might be able to play the Reds pre-season game.


    Western Force skipper Nathan Sharpe is adamant the Super 14 club will not be affected by the drama surrounding coach John Mitchell, saying the players have had plenty of practice dealing with off-field controversies.

    The Force have been littered with unpleasant distractions throughout their three-year existence, including the ‘Quokkagate’ affair and a pub fight between Matt Henjak and Haig Sare.

    The latest controversy to hit the Perth-based franchise concerns the behaviour of Mitchell towards players and staff, with numerous reports suggesting a player-coach rift.

    Mitchell was temporarily barred from having any contact with his players as the club went to the extraordinary length of hiring a retired Supreme Court judge to launch an independent inquiry.

    Those findings are expected to be handed down later this month but Sharpe said the players had already brushed the controversy aside and were focusing solely on their job – playing rugby.

    “We’ve had quite a few controversies over time and we’ve dealt with them very well,” Sharpe said on Tuesday.

    “The playing group as a whole is one of the tightest that I’ve been involved with and I’ve got all the confidence in the world that it’s not going to be a problem.

    “The timing’s not great but you’ve got to make the most of what you are given, and that’s what we’ve been presented with.

    “The players are doing as much as they can on the field to make sure we’re ready to play.

    “The thing that’s happening here is we want to put processes in place to make us a better team and that’s what’s happening at the moment.”

    Sharpe said a special effort had gone into protecting some of the club’s younger players from the drama.

    “We’ve spoken about that and I guess everything that’s happening off the field is only going to be as big a distraction as we allow it to become,” Sharpe said.

    “We’ve worked very hard over the last week to make sure that it impacts very little on what happens on the field.

    “The process that’s going on at the moment is kept well away from the players and that’s working well for us.”

    Sharpe’s pre-season has been affected by a fractured thumb sustained in the Wallabies’ 18-13 win over France last November.

    The 30-year-old soldiered on through the pain to play in Australia’s test loss to Wales but will miss the Force’s pre-season clash with the Crusaders on January 23.

    Sharpe said he was a definite starter for the Super 14 season opener against the Blues on February 13 and could even line up for the club’s practice game against the Reds on February 5.

    And fullback Cameron Shepherd, who took part in the Force’s pre-season session on Tuesday, is also expected to be fit for the season opener after recovering from a broken leg suffered last July.

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    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    Do you know when Sharpie is finished with us he really could get a job with the UN as a peace envoy - we are so lucky

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