Wallabies great John Eales says Australia will benefit if Nathan Sharpe shelves retirement plans yet again to lead the Wallabies on their upcoming European tour.
With Australia still nursing an unprecedented injury list, coach Robbie Deans has asked the 34-year-old Sharpe to extend his career once more for the Tests against France, England, Italy and Wales starting next month.
It continues a dramatic turnaround for Sharpe who has gone from a fringe player at last year's World Cup who planned to retire after the last Super Rugby season to admired national skipper.
The evergreen lock took over the captaincy with aplomb following injuries to successive incumbents James Horwill, David Pocock and Will Genia, leading the battling and depleted squad to second place in the inaugural Rugby Championship.
Sharpe, who with 111 Tests is the second most capped player in Wallabies history, will make his decision about the Europe tour over the coming week, before Saturday's third Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday week.
Eales, who captained the Wallabies in their 1999 World Cup triumph, said it would be a bonus if Sharpe played on for one final tour.
"It's very important to have that leadership in the team, to have those senior leaders," Eales told AAP on Wednesday.
"There's a lot of experience out of the team through injury, so having a guy like Sharpey around who doesn't get flustered easily is valuable.
"He's just got to go on his own judgement. He's been around for long enough and he knows whether he'll be up for it.
"If he's up for it, he should go for it.
"I think it's really good news for Australian rugby if he wants to play on because we've had a really big injury list.
"His form has been excellent, and you want people who are in form."
Horwill (hamstring) and Pocock (knee) are a chance to feature on the November 10-December 1 Spring tour.