History has no bearing says Sharpe

Nathan Sharpe insists history will have no impact on Australia's chances of beating France this evening. [more]

History has no bearing says Sharpe

Nathan Sharpe insists history will have no impact on Australia’s chances of beating France this evening.

The Wallabies travel to the Stade de France having won their last five encounters with the French dating back to 2008 and having lost just once in Paris since 1993.

The most recent of those wins was a 59-point success in the French capital in November 2010 as the Aussies came from 16-13 down after 42 minutes to run out comprehensive victors, yet Sharpe isn’t focusing on the past.

"It's been irrelevant for us. There's a lot of new guys in this group," said Sharpe of the memories of that incredible second-half display last time out.

"There's no doubts the way the game ended last time won't happen again.

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"France are a very proud nation, it's going to be a tight game, whichever way it goes."

The French have long been known for their willingness to throw the ball around out wide but Sharpe expects the game to be a tight encounter in its nature as well as its result.

"You only have to look at how they played in their last couple of games, in Argentina – they mauled a lot, they're going to be very combative and confrontational. That's what we're expecting," added Sharpe.

"Teams around the world have traditional strengths and this French team is no different. They have flair out wide, they have a strong forward pack.

"We know we've got to work hard."

Sharpe will win his 112th cap tonight after postponing his retirement for a second time to lead the Wallabies on their European excursion.

The veteran lock retains the captain’s armband and will do so for the entire tour despite the fact that previous skipper David Pocock should be fit to face England next week.

Robbie Deans has been forced to pick four different captains since the 2011 World Cup, with Sharpe taking over after serious injuries to James Horwill, Will Genia and Pocock, but the 34-year-old insists the man at the front of the line singing the anthem is just one of many when it comes to leaders within the team.

"It's irrelevant. Everyone who's been involved in high-quality teams know there's a core of leaders that at any day can take that position.

"If that's the best role for me in the team at the moment then that suits me. Either way it doesn't bother me or David."

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