Corbisiero hoping to get World Cup nod
August 15, 2011
England's Alex Corbisiero looks to force an opening in the Wales defence last Saturday © Getty Images
England prop Alex Corbisiero and his squad-mates face a nervous wait this week as manager Martin Johnson ponders the make up of his 30-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.
Johnson will announce his selection a week today with London Irish loose-head Corbisiero one of those hoping to be handed a place on the plane to New Zealand. The 22-year-old has featured in both of England's warm-up clashes with Wales but was taking nothing for granted in the wake of their 19-9 defeat in Cardiff on Saturday.
"We've all just been told to make sure we are reachable by email, text and mobile regardless of whether we go away or don't go away," said Corbisiero. "We've been given no indication of when we'll be told.
"I've done everything I can now to give myself the best chance possible to be in their plans. If it doesn't happen it doesn't happen but I know I've given everything. I've given it as much as I could. I feel I've worked hard all summer, there are things I could have done better, but I couldn't have asked any more of myself. I'll be by the phone all week."
Corbisiero only made his Test debut in the Six Nations but already looks at home at international level and his attitude has impressed the England management. England were beaten in frustrating circumstances by Wales on Saturday, with their backs unable to translate a mountain of forward-won possession into points. But Corbisiero's own set piece department went well, with England on top at scrum-time and effective in the lineout.
If Corbisiero does make the final cut, he will immediately turn his attention to forcing his way into the 22-man squad for the warm-up international against Ireland on August 27. Rival Andrew Sheridan missed both Wales matches as he recovers from summer shoulder surgery but he is expected to be pushing for selection in England's final run-out before tackling Argentina in the World Cup.
"I feel more and more comfortable each time we get out there as a team but there are always things to work on and stuff to develop," said Corbisiero. "With guys like Sheridan coming back, who is in that world-class bracket already, I have to keep my head down and build on what I've done.
"I'll take every opportunity if I get it. I couldn't ask for any more. To be in a position I'm in now, contending for a spot, and to get two more caps and having a great chance to play for my country. I'm just grateful for the opportunity.
"It would be great to play in Dublin. If I didn't play and then did go to New Zealand it would be a while to the next game which isn't ideal. But I'll take it as it comes."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery
"England remind me of a PlayStation rugby team," John Mitchell on tactics and the search for a first-choice fly-half ahead of the World Cup
Augustine Pulu will return home with little more than 20 minutes rugby in one month on tour. It is time for more midweek games writes Craig Dowd