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Thread: Nathan Sharpe to focus on new faces in lineout

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    Nathan Sharpe to focus on new faces in lineout

    Nathan Sharpe to focus on new faces in lineout






    IT was a good indication of how much work the Wallabies have in front of them this week, the fact that Australia's senior lineout jumper Nathan Sharpe yesterday had to introduce himself to the player most likely to be throwing to him, Saia Faingaa.



    The other hooker in the 30-man Wallabies squad, Huia Edmonds of the Brumbies, Sharpe already knew but the 32-year-old, 79-Test veteran had never met Faingaa, 23, one of seven uncapped players in the team but a likely starter in Saturday's Test against Fiji at Canberra Stadium.


    "I'm excited to see how everyone comes together and what dynamic comes out of it," said Sharpe, the oldest player in the squad by four years. "There are a lot of new faces. A few years ago, it was the other way round."


    Certainly during the closing stages of Eddie Jones' reign as Wallabies coach, there was a sameness and predictability about the make-up of the Test team but the cosiness of those days has given way to the stimulating uncertainty of the Robbie Deans era.



    "That's the environment Robbie wants his players to thrive in, knowing that anyone can play on the weekend for the Wallabies if they put the work in," Sharpe said.
    With lineout calling systems to learn, scrum tactics to bed down and patterns of play to rehearse, Sharpe is expecting this week to be used to introduce the Wallabies to their own game, not to overly focus on Fiji.


    "That puts a freshness into everything. Seeing guys getting their Wallabies kits for the first time is always great. But I have to admit it kind of weird not to have (110-Test veteran) George Smith here. He has been part of just about every Wallabies side I've ever been in."


    Smith's retirement, coupled with injuries to key forwards Wycliff Palu, Benn Robinson, Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau, has made Sharpe more aware that as the most experienced player in the side - he has one more cap than Matt Giteau - he has to be right at captain Rocky Elsom's shoulder in showing the way to the youngsters.


    "I've got to lead with all the experience I have," he said. "This season I have been trying to be more direct, more confrontational and abrasive and I have to make sure I'm setting that tone to help Rocky."


    For all the youth in the Australian team, Sharpe has no doubt that the Wallabies can muster the physical hardness needed to combat the Springboks.
    "I look back to 2007 when we absolutely bashed the Boks in Cape Town but got beaten by a couple of Francois Steyn field goals, and to 2008 when we beat them in Durban," said Sharpe. "There are always one or two games when Australia really muscles up but then a couple of games when we don't. It's all about consistency.


    "It's hard for me to comment on this group because there are so many guys I haven't played with before but you look at what the Reds achieved when they beat the two Super 14 finalists, the Bulls and the Stormers on successive weekends.

    They are just a young team but they showed the capacity to muscle up."


    The same could also be said of his own Western Force side, that for a long while pushed the Bulls before claiming the Stormers' scalp and Sharpe believes the Wallabies can feed off the enthusiasm generated in the Super 14.


    "The players unearthed in the last two years are having such a terrific effect," Sharpe said.


    "I think the timing for the World Cup next year is really good, with guys like Will Genia and Quade Cooper finding their feet. It augurs well for Australia."


    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1225873215479

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    Senior Player Contributor WF2006's Avatar
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    Oh Captain, my captain!

    (stands on desk..........desk groans)

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    Last edited by WF2006; 31-05-10 at 19:58.

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    Veteran Contributor hertryk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WF2006 View Post
    Oh Captain, my captain!

    (stands on desk..........desk growns)
    Sharpie should have been made Captain ..a grave miscarriage of justice...Elsom is NOT a leader, or gives any inspiration to any of the team...It's a no brainer!!!

    SHARPIE WILL ALWAYS BE CAPTAIN IN MY EYES...!!! Bless Him!

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    Elsom will be tossing the coin, Sharpey will be showing the way.

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    "Bloody oath we did!"

    Nathan Sharpe, Legend.

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    Veteran Contributor normie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Elsom will be tossing the coin, Sharpey will be showing the way.
    Just like the proverb; there are tossers and there are leaders...

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