Wallabies player Nathan Sharpe.
Wallabies player Nathan Sharpe. Dave Noonan

Nathan Sharpe honoured by second John Eales medal win

NATHAN Sharpe has spoken of his pride after becoming only the second player to win the John Eales medal twice.

Sharpe now shares the honour with George Smith, the man he surpassed to become Australia's most-capped forward a few weeks ago.

"He's a guy that I cut my teeth under when I first started playing, so it's tremendous to get it from him in my final year," Sharpe said of Eales.

"I've learnt a lot from John over the years and will hopefully continue to do so.

"But probably more (importantly) to be recognised as a guy who puts in each week for his team-mates is something special."

Sharpe polled 259 votes, 24 ahead of his nearest rival, David Pocock, and 88 more than Rookie of the Year Michael Hooper.

The award capped the most extraordinary year for Sharpe who originally planned to quit after the Western Force's final Super Rugby game on July14.

But he was not only persuaded to return for the Wallabies, but took over the captaincy mid-season because of injuries to others and now will lead the Australians on the tour of Europe.

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