Sharples was born in Hong Kong. As a former Gloucestershire district athlete, Sharples ran a time of 11.30 seconds over the 100m distance at the age of 17. He also ran 40m in a time of 4.82 seconds at the England RWC training camp in 2011, the fastest time recorded in the England squad. He made his début for Gloucester during the 2007/08 season coming on as a substitute against London Irish at Kingsholm. He made his first start for Gloucester against Sale Sharks at Edgeley Park.
Sharples was dual registered with Moseley for both the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. Sharples scored 18 tries in the 2010/11 season including four tries against the Newport-Gwent Dragons, and made his England debut against Wales in a World Cup warm-up match on 6 August.