Rugby Union


Sharpe's Perth farewell likely to end in tears

Retiring Western Force lock Nathan Sharpe admits he'll probably shed a tear when he plays his final Super Rugby match in Perth on Saturday night.

''But not while we're playing,'' the 34-year-old veteran said with a laugh.

Sharpe, who will retire at season's end, will be the centre of attention when the Force takes on the high-flying Brumbies at nib Stadium.

The match will be Sharpe's last in front of the ''Sea of Blue'' Force faithful, and the powerful lock is intent on celebrating the occasion with a win.

Sharpe, who became the Force's foundation captain when he switched from the Reds in 2006, expressed his love of playing in front of Perth crowds for the past six years. But with the emotion building ahead of Saturday night's game, Sharpe said he had to be careful not to become overwhelmed by the occasion.

''Because if I sit around and let emotion get in the way of it, I'll probably be a blubbering mess the whole week,'' Sharpe said.

After this week's home farewell, Sharpe will finish his Super Rugby duties with games against the Blues and Crusaders in New Zealand.

Sharpe had planned to slip quietly into retirement after that, but pushed those plans back by an extra few months to help out the Wallabies in the upcoming Rugby Championship.

The Brumbies top the Australian conference, and will be nervously waiting to see how the 13th-placed Force reacts to Sharpe's big day. AAP