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Sharpe injury worry for Wallabies
ESPNscrum Staff
June 11, 2011
Western Force lock Nathan Sharpe limps out of the action, Western Force v Reds, Super Rugby, NIB Stadium, Perth, Australia, June 11, 2011
Sharpe limped out of his side's Super Rugby defeat to the Reds in Perth © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Nathan Sharpe
Tournaments/Tours: Super Rugby
Teams: Australia | Force

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has been handed a major injury concern on the eve of the international season with veteran lock Nathan Sharpe set to be sidelined by an ankle injury.

The 33-year-old second row limped out of the Western Force's 24-21 defeat to the Reds in their Super Rugby clash in Perth on Saturday with suspected ligament damage.

Sharpe, capped 93 times by the Wallabies and a possible captain of the side in the continued absence of flanker Rocky Elsom, told Australian television that he thought he had suffered ligament damage with a more comprehensive examination scheduled for Sunday.

"At this early stage, I think I've done something to my lateral ligament in my ankle," Sharpe told Fox Sports. "We'll just have to wait and see how it pulls up tomorrow to see what the extent of the damage is."

Force coach Richard Graham said Sharpe's injury would be assessed on Sunday. "At this stage, I haven't looked at him. We've got medicals at 10 o'clock in the morning so we'll check it out then," he said.

Reflecting on his side's win that all but assures them of a top two finish in the competition and home advantage in the play-offs, Reds captain James Horwill commented, "We knew it would be tough, these debries always are, We lacked a bit of finish there and gave away a lot of penalties. But I'm really happy we got the result in the end."

Playmaker Quade Cooper added, "There was some doubts there, but we said we just need to keep working until the end. They had nothing to lose and they kept coming at us.

"It was one of those games where we just had to keep working, We had a lot of injuries, but this side doesn't give up. It means a lot for the Reds to secure a top two finish. We are really enjoying our football at the moment."

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