Northampton announce Corbisiero capture
January 16, 2013
Alex Corbisiero will play for Northampton next season © PA Photos
England front-row Alex Corbisiero has confirmed that he will join the Northampton Saints at the end of the season.
Corbisiero, a member of England's elite player squad, has made 76 appearances for London Irish and will bolster the Saints' front-row options. Northampton are set to lose both Brian Mujati and Soane Tonga'uiha to Racing Metro at the end of the current campaign and Corbisiero is likely to step into the latter's shoes.
Aged just 24, Corbisiero has plenty of years left in the game and he is relishing the chance to line up for Jim Mallinder's side and adding to his 18 England caps. "I've really enjoyed my time at London Irish and am grateful for everything that the club has given me," Corbisiero said. "I'm looking forward to what will be a new challenge at Saints next summer.
"There is a great culture and hopefully I can help the team succeed whilst continuing my progression as a player, and I'm sure that Franklin's Gardens will be a good environment for me in that regard."
The Saints have also announced the re-signing of front-row duo Alex Waller and Tom Mercey. Mallinder is adamant that the three new contracts are a key part of the team's development over the coming seasons.
"All three players have plenty of experience and because they are still in their early-to-mid twenties we believe that there is plenty more to come from them," Mallinder said. "I'm delighted that all three props have put pen to paper to be a part of the Saints squad going forward."
The news of Corbisiero's departure will come as a massive blow to London Irish who are also rumoured to be losing Jonathan Joseph at the end of the season. Their director of rugby Brian Smith said: "We are sad to see Alex go. We made him a very attractive offer to stay earlier this season but unfortunately Alex feels his future is elsewhere.
"He is an academy product who has gone through to the first team and on to the International stage and we are immensely proud of that. We have some crucial games left this season and I know Alex will give his all in those games before departing for Northampton."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"I am not alone in believing this series could well be decided by who can steal most ball after the tackle." John Taylor previews the Lions' first Test showdown with Australia
"You can keep your Bullitt and French Connection car chases, this was the real thing." Tom Hamilton files his latest Tour Diary from Australia
"O'Driscoll's generosity says so much about the man and the team spirit that Gatland has fostered within the squad." Graham Jenkins reflects on what the Lions' latest win told us
We bring you our pick of the best pictures from around the world in the last seven days with the British & Irish Lions tour and a feast of international rugby taking centre stage