Full name Nathan C. Sharpe
Born February 26, 1978, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Current age 35 years 290 days
Major teams Force, Australia
Height 6 ft 7 in
Weight 253 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2003-2011||15||14||1||5||1||0||0||0||13||2||0||86.66|
|The Rugby Championship||2002-2012||47||42||5||10||2||0||0||0||18||29||0||38.29|
|Test debut||Australia v France at Melbourne, Jun 22, 2002 match details|
|Last Test||Wales v Australia at Millennium Stadium, Dec 1, 2012 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Lock forward is a tough position in which to excel, but Sharpe has been one of the most consistently excellent players of his generation.
After making his international bow against France in 2002, he zoomed past the 50-cap mark during 2006 with a remarkable sequence of Test appearances: when he was rested for the Test against Fiji in Perth in June 2007 it ended a run of 28 consecutive matches for the Wallabies since 2005. He earned his 100th Test cap against Wales at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and is currently the fourth most-capped Australian international of all-time alongside David Campese and behind George Gregan, George Smith and Stephen Larkham.
Sharpe's outstanding work in the line-out and effective but undemonstrative work around the field received recognition in 2007 when he was awarded the John Eales Medal as Australia's Player of the Year.
Sharpe was raised in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales and played Australian Rules football before taking up rugby when he moved to Queensland's Gold Coast. He was also made the school first team in rowing at The Southport School.
He represented Australia in rugby at U19 and U21 level in 1996-97 and went on to represent the Australia's U21 team for two more years, captaining the side in 1999. He made his Super 12 debut for Queensland Reds in 1998, playing alongside Eales, and he was later named Rookie of the Year as well as the winner of the Australian Rugby Union Players' Association's Medal for Excellence - voted for by his peers.
Sharpe was an ever-present for the Wallabies in 2003 - culminating with the World Cup Final defeat to England - and he also started the first eight of Australia's Tests in 2004 - captaining the side for the first time against the All Blacks in Wellington when George Gregan was absent. However, he missed the end-of-year tour in order to work on his strength and conditioning. In 2005, he was the only player to start in every Test and captained the Wallabies again against Samoa, celebrating with two tries. In the same year, an Australian Team of the Decade was named to celebrate 10 years of the open game with Sharpe named on the bench as cover for Eales and David Giffin.
In 2006, Sharpe played every minute of all 13 Wallaby Tests at lock and was captain of the Western Force in its inaugural Super 14 season having spent eight years with the Reds. He went on to surpass George Gregan's all-time Super Rugby appearance record during the 2011 season.
Sharpe was in and out of the Australia squad prior to the 2011 World Cup. He started in their loss to Samoa and was subsequently dropped from the side. However, he returned to the mix later in the year and helped the Wallabies defeat South Africa in Durban 14-9 on their way to the Tri-Nations crown.
He only started two games during the World Cup as Australia claimed third place but that was enough for him to join the 100 Test cap club. Later that year, he claimed the Australian Rugby Union Players' Association's 'Medal of Excellence' for the third time - joining Gregan as a three-time winner of the honour.