Corbisiero revels in 'dream' England debut
Published: 24 Feb 2011 09:300 comments
The 22-year-old was a late call-up to the squad to face Italy and ended up playing the full 80 minutes as England demolished their Six Nations opponents at Twickenham.
Up against the highly-rated Martin Castrogiovanni, Corbisiero admitted that he was nervous prior to kick-off but that it soon turned into a dream day.
"It was an incredible experience, I was a little nervous and we were up against a big Italian pack but once I got out there it was the best moment of my life. It was a great experience, I'll never forget it," he said.
"It means a lot playing for your country. It was a great feeling - a real dream to be out there. They didn't make the decision that I was playing until Friday morning. It was probably easier just getting chucked in than having a long build-up and having it dwell on your mind a bit."
While Corbisiero is expected to be replaced by Andrew Sheridan for the crunch match against France this weekend, the London Irish player is hoping for a bright future with England.
"There's a lot of positives to take from the match and I thought it was a good start to what I hope is a long career at that level," he said.
"With every performance there's always something you can improve and work on but I was happy and it was a great start.
"Most of my family were there and family friends too, it was great to have them there, it was a great experience, my parents were very proud and they've done a lot to help me get here so it was a really happy moment for us all."
As well as his impressive performance on the pitch, Corbisiero also impressed in the traditional post-match ritual of rapping to the rest of the squad.
Nicknamed 'the hip-hop prop', Corbisiero endured some early taunts before winning over his team-mates.
""The whole point when you get someone up to sing is that everyone just shouts abuse. When Alex got up we gave him the abuse and then everyone went quiet and he actually sang an unbelievable rap," said flanker James Haskell.
"It is the first time I have actually heard a song when everyone is actually clapping and loving it. You would never know it looking at him that he is actually a gangster rapper and a pretty good player.
"He just went out there, played his usual game and is another bloke in the mix and that is the beauty of this England side."
Corbisiero himself admitted that it wasn't a prepared effort but he was pleased with how it was received.
"It was literally just off the cuff. I didn't have time to think about it. After I got through being showered with water I got the chance to get it out. It was about the game and about the boys," he revealed.
"I can't tell you exactly what I sang as I made it up on the spur of the moment about playing for England, the boys and what it meant to me. I hope everyone enjoyed it. I didn't have time to think about it - I hope it doesn't appear on YouTube!"
London Irish director of rugby Toby Booth, who has overseen Corbisiero's development since he arrived in 2005, thinks the 22-year-old could make the squad for the World Cup later this year.
""Having won one cap, he won't be satisfied. He'll want a hundred. I reckon he'll make England's World Cup squad. He's never been content with standing still. We're already grooming him to be a future club captain," he said.
"His attitude is the best of many things about him. He's in the top two in terms of his professionalism in the entire club. He's a rugby fanatic, a coach's dream. He leaves nothing to chance."