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Nathan Sharpe available for Rugby Championship

Nathan Sharpe has made himself available for the Rugby Championship.

Nathan Sharpe has made himself available for the Rugby Championship. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies forward Nathan Sharpe has agreed to extend his career for another two months, enabling the 104-Test veteran to compete in the inaugural Rugby Championship which features former Tri Nations teams, plus Argentina.

Coach Robbie Deans confirmed this morning that Sharpe will be available for Australia's six Tests in the Rugby Championship following the hamstring injury to James Horwill that is likely to result in the Wallabies skipper missing the rest of the season.

Sharpe's lineout jumping will be a big asset to the Wallabies in the coming months, particularly against South Africa.

Sharpe was due to retire at the completion of the Western Force's Super Rugby season next month.

"Sharpie's indicated he’s willing and keen to continue into the Rugby Championship, so that’s good news for the team,’’ said Deans.

‘‘He’s vastly experienced, been in this arena for a long time and you saw evidence of that in the death in the game the other night (win over Wales in second Test).’’

Deans said the decision to continue on wasn’t as straight forward as it would seem for the 34-year-old Western Force workhorse who debuted for the Wallabies way back in 2002.

‘‘Obviously it’s a big decision for Sharpie because it was a conscious choice of his to communicate that he was going to retire, intending to retire. That’s a big decision in any man’s life particularly a bloke who has played 100 Tests,’’ said Deans.

‘‘He’d made plans around his life beyond the game so he’s had to put them on hold and that’s never straight forward.’’

Deans ruled out the prospect of Sharpe continuing on into the end-of-year spring tour, and said his call to elevate NSW giant Sitaleki Timani to his starting team for Saturday’s final Test against Wales was about preparing for the future.

‘‘Well, clearly the day is coming when Sharpie’s not going to be available to us so we’ve got to prepare for that and we want to get Sita some exposure, bring him on,’’ said Deans, who moved Queensland lock Rob Simmons back to the bench.

‘‘Simmo’s had a big year, he’s played a lot of rugby ... they’re going to have to share that load and, the sooner we can bring guys like Sita on, the better it will be for us.’’

Recalled Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale said Sharpe’s experience was invaluable.‘‘He’s a good man and to have someone of his calibre around the playing group certainly brings a lot of confidence,’’ said Beale.

with AAP

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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