'Stung' Sharpe wants spot back

2008-09-08 07:57

Sydney - Wallaby lock Nathan Sharpe says a "stinging" Wallabies are itching to rebound from their South African nightmare in Saturday's sold-out Tri Nations decider against the All Blacks in Brisbane.

Sharpe looks certain to be recalled to the Wallaby side after taking no part in the South African tour. It was the first time the 64-Test veteran had been dropped since his national debut in 2002.

It may have been a blessing in disguise, with Sharpe missing the embarrassing 53-8 drubbing at the hands of the rampant Springboks in Johannesburg .

The 30-year-old is tipped to be back in the starting lineup for Saturday's appointment at Suncorp Stadium, in place of fellow Queenslander Hugh McMeniman. The team will be announced on Tuesday.

Sharpe said the debacle at Ellis Park would stir the Wallabies into life and with the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup at stake, there was no shortage of motivation.

"The one thing about this team, there's a lot of resolution. It might have been a big score over there but I don't think it will count for anything this weekend," Sharpe said.

'Everyone forgets'

"The 15 or 22 guys that take the field against them this weekend will be stinging from that game and they will certainly let that be known.

"If you win the Tri-Nations, everyone forgets about that stuff, don't they?"

Sharpe said he had a personal point to prove after his demotion, while the magnitude of the encounter gave him the perfect chance to prove he still had things to offer under the Robbie Deans regime.

"This is the game everyone wants to play in after a hard-fought Tri-Nations, to come down to the last game with everything on the line. You want to be involved in that," Sharpe said.

"It hurt. It hurt a lot. It's just made me more determined to get back in the team. There's no point in lying around feeling sorry for yourself."

Complete rubbish

Sharpe also described reports coming out of New Zealand that he and fellow Force star Matt Giteau had fallen out with coach John Mitchell as "rubbish".

"I just signed a three-year deal over there. I wouldn't sign for three years if I was unhappy in a certain area. Complete rubbish. I don't know where they got those things from," Sharpe said.

"I know for a fact that Gits' problem, or what he wants to get sorted out, is the contractual thing off the field. Certainly he's got no problems with Mitch. He gets on really well with him. Those reports are a bit scandalous. We love a good scandal in the west."

The Wallabies trained at Ballymore on Monday morning, with centre Berrick Barnes looking sharp despite being in strong doubt with a shoulder injury. Barnes ran through some drills with no apparent discomfort but did no contact work.

The hard-hitting Ipswich Grammar product has quickly become an influential part of the Wallaby defensive unit. His absence was duly noted against the Springboks, who galloped in eight tries to Australia's one.

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