2 Aug 2011

Wallabies veteran dropped for All Blacks test

5:18 pm on 2 August 2011

The veteran Australian lock Nathan Sharpe's Rugby World Cup hopes are in tatters after being dropped from the Wallabies squad for Saturday's tri nations and Bledisloe Cup test against the All Blacks in Auckland.

The 33-year-old Western Force captain was overlooked by coach Robbie Deans in favour of returning veteran Dan Vickerman in the 24 strong squad named this morning.

Sharpe, who's played 95 Tests, must now be only an outside chance to make the World Cup starting next month as New South Wales rookie Sitaleki Timani was also included in the squad ahead of him.

The 32-year-old Vickerman played his 56th Test and the first in three years following a study sabbatical in England, when he started in last month's upset loss to Samoa.

He's now set to vie with Queenslanders James Horwill and Rob Simmons for the starting roles.

In the other additions to the 20-man squad from the last-start win over South Africa, halfback Luke Burgess returns from injury replacing Nick Phipps as likely back up to Will Genia while winger Lachie Turner was also called in along with Timani.

The Wallabies arrive in Auckland on Wednesday.