Sharples hails 'massive influence' of legend
WHEN James Simpson-Daniel made Twickenham stand in applause following a delicate dummy flick that left All Black brute Jonah Lomu for dead, Charlie Sharples was only 12.
The man they call Sinbad was jinking passed the best in the world well before the Cherry and Whites pace man was filling a Gloucester Academy jersey.
He now wishes to emulate everything his humble Gloucester teammate encompasses as a Gloucester stalwart.
Tonight, Simpson-Daniel will become Gloucester's record Premiership appearance maker, setting his name firmly in the Kingsholm stone.
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Sharples, who will sit on the bench at The Rec for the first West Country derby of the season, is replaced by Sinbad in the starting line-up following last week's defeat in Limerick. He wants to play, there's no doubt about that.
But he can do nothing but marvel at the attitude Simpson-Daniel brings to the Gloucester fold, as he makes his 183rd appearance in cherry and white surpassing Peter Buxton.
"Sinbad has been a massive influence in my playing career," said 24-year-old Sharples.
"He was always a player I looked up to when I was playing as a teenager with the academy team and fortunately I get to go out and play alongside him most weeks.
"He has been an absolute stalwart for Gloucester and in Gloucester folk law, not just for the record he has, but also for the player that he has been.
"He has always been a huge influence on me and helping me out within my playing career and luckily enough we're now friends.
"I would love to emulate what he has achieved. Gloucester is my home town, I went to school in Gloucester and know what it means to play for the club.
"It means a huge amount to me to pull on the shirt on and emulate some of the success that he has with his career."
Gloucester are seeking their third win from six on their return to domestic duties tonight.
They come off a defeat at the hands of Munster in the Heineken Cup - a game in which Sharples scored - and followed a deserved win over Perpignan.