Force skipper Sharpe looks overseas

It’s nearly World Cup time. Every four years the best players get together to fight for rugby’s crown and then they promptly retire and head overseas to make money.

And Nathan Sharpe is talking of being the next to go after last week Aaron Mauger announced his move to Leicester Tigers.

Sharpe, who is 28 years old, made waves when he signed up as the Force’s inaugaral skipper after amassing over 70 caps for the Reds.

But he has hinted that he may be leaving after the World Cup and one more season with the Force.

“I’m going to have to look at it after the World Cup. How my body is going and how I’m feeling mentally,” the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported.

“I’m off contract in 2008 and that will be the first time that I will seriously consider moving off-shore. It will become a line-ball decision as to what I do.

“That’s something that I’ll re-assess after the World Cup and go from there. I’m starting to put the feelers out and see how things shape up.

“I’m loving playing at the moment and that’s a pretty good sign,” said Sharpe.

“I think I’ve got to take it year by year. I guess I’ll have to see how I’m playing and if I’m enjoying the game, but 2008 presents a huge amount of options for me to look at.

“It’s pretty exciting. To be in that situation is always a bit daunting, but definitely for me, obviously, the World Cup is the point where I know I’m going.”

Meanwhile the Force need to turn things around in a hurry, if some of their high-profile signings are going to prove worthy of their expense.

“There is general disappointment at how we played against the Highlanders. You can expect a big turnaround,” Sharpe said.

“We showed glimpses of what we are capable of in attack, but we need to be better at the breakdown.”

Sharpe believes he knows just what the tonic may be; a mimicry of some of the tactics of the New Zealanders, tactics Sharpe terms as “cheating”.

“The New Zealand teams are good at cheating (at the breakdown) and maybe we have to apply the same approach.

“We sent too many players in and then we were short on numbers. When they slow your ball down it’s hard to attack.”

Nathan Sharpe will lead his charges into action against the Stormers in Cape Town on Friday night.

365 Digital

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