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Timani tastes life at Sharpe end

"Clearly the day is coming when Nathan [Sharpe, pictured] will not be available for us, so we have to prepare for that" ... Robbie Deans.

"Clearly the day is coming when Nathan [Sharpe, pictured] will not be available for us, so we have to prepare for that" ... Robbie Deans. Photo: Reuters

NATHAN SHARPE is remaining with the Wallabies until at least October, but the promotion of Sitaleki Timani to the Test starting XV shows the preparations for the future have already begun.

Although Sharpe was supposed to retire following this Saturday's third Test against Wales, he has told Wallabies coach Robbie Deans he will continue and play in the inaugural Rugby Championship, which also involves New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.

This is some relief for Deans because the Wallabies second-row stocks are relatively shallow, especially with Test captain James Horwill expected to miss the rest of the season as he requires surgery on his ruptured hamstring and Dan Vickerman is unlikely to play again.

There are some promising second rows coming through the ranks, with Hugh Pyle and Caderyn Neville training with the Wallabies squad, but they are still some way off being considered for Test spots.

Therefore Deans wants to broaden the basket, which is why he has chosen Timani ahead of Rob Simmons for this weekend.

''Clearly the day is coming when Nathan will not be available for us, so we have to prepare for that. We want to give Sita some exposure and bring him on,'' Deans said. Simmons has ''had a big year, played a lot of rugby, and so we have to share that load''.

Deans said Sharpe's decision to postpone his retirement was ''good news for the group. You saw how important he is for the team at the death the other night when he played a key role in securing possession.

''It is a big decision for him, because it was a conscious choice of his to communicate he was going to retire,'' Deans said.

''He had made plans beyond the game, so he's had to put them on hold. That's never straight forward. To defer his retirement is a significant commitment from him. I don't think it is an indefinite deferment though.''

Sharpe will not be available for the end-of-year northern hemisphere tour and Deans is also not anticipating that Vickerman will return.

''I haven't spoken to Dan for a couple of weeks,'' he said.

''But I'm sure the moment he is able to play my phone will ring. But I don't think so. My last conversation with Dan revolved around just getting himself right for life going forward.

''I understand his leg is giving him a fair amount of grief from day to day. He might be at that point where he has conceded his playing career is over, but I have not had formal notification of that.''

Despite persistent complaints from the Welsh over how the breakdown had been policed, Deans weaved around the subject yesterday.

''The rules don't change from week to week,'' he said. ''We have the ability to meet referees week to week but nothing changes in between. The key is for players to adapt in the game,'' Deans said.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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