Nathan Sharpe, Australia’s most capped forward, has been included in the Wallaby coaching team that will attempt to guide their team to a victorious series over the British and Irish Lions when they tour in June.
Sharpe did not get the opportunity to play against the Lions in a Wallaby shirt but told the media that he was excited at the prospect of helping the forwards take on the might of Britton and Ireland.
“I’m looking forward to doing all I can to help get the team ready for what is coming, It’s a once every 12 years opportunity isn’t it? I’d like to have played for Australia against the Lions but it wasn’t to be. The fact that you can play for 11 seasons at Test level as I did and not get to play against them shows both how rare the opportunity is, but also how much of a privilege it will be for the guys that get to represent the Wallabies in this series.” Sharpe said.
Wallaby head coach admitted to at the announcement that the decision to appoint Sharpe to assit the forwards during the tour was an easy one.
“It’s appropriate; perhaps the only difference from the role he had last year is that he won’t be putting his boots on. His experience, leadership and tactical nous will be available to both the playing group and the coaching staff as it was last year. That’s a great resource for us to have, given the unique nature of the British and Irish Lions,” Deans said.
Sharpe has faced the Lions 12 years ago, but for Queensland during one of the tour matches back in 2001, a year later he won his first Wallaby cap.
Deans also announced Scott Murphy as the team’s strength and conditioning coach and he will link up with the side in the coming weeks from Saracens. Murphy joins Tony McGahan and Nick Scrivener on the 2013 coaching staff.