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Special debut for Corbisiero

14 February 2011

  • Alex Corbisiero describes England debut as dream come true
  • Exiles prop tipped as "the next 50 Cent" by Italy Man of the Match Chris Ashton
Alex Corbisiero makes his debut against Italy at Twickenham

Photo: Getty Images

England prop Alex Corbisiero says he came away with an "amazing experience" after being thrown in at the deep end against Italy.

The 22-year-old was handed his debut as a late replacement for Andrew Sheridan, who was ruled out of the RBS 6 Nations clash with a back injury on Friday.

It meant that Corbisiero had just one day to prepare for his first start, which saw him pack down opposite experienced Italy front row Martin Castrogiovanni.

Any concerns were inevident as Corbisiero impressed in the comfortable 59-13 victory at Twickenham. But the London Irish player believes that the nerves may have been worse if he had been given time to dwell on his selection.

Debut a dream come true for Corbisiero

"It was an amazing experience. It means a lot playing for your country. It was a great feeling - a real dream to be out there," Corbisiero said.

"They didn't make the decision I was playing until Friday morning. But it was probably easier just getting chucked in than having a long build-up and having it dwell on your mind a bit.

"There weren't many scrums but I thought the set-piece was really good for us. We contested really well in the lineout and I just got on with what I needed to do around the park.

"There is a lot of trust in the team. The boys trust each other to do their own role and that leaves you with a clear head to do your job. We were on the front foot and playing great rugby."

Corbisiero happy with debut performance

Alex Corbisiero fends off two Italian challenges during his England debut at Twickenham

Photo: Getty Images

Corbisiero expects Sheridan to regain his place in the side ahead of France's visit to Twickenham in two weeks' time, but remains eager to resume his Test career.

He added: "You want to play for your country every time.

"Guys like Andrew Sheridan will probably be back, but I stepped in and feel like I had a good performance. I have been lucky enough to get the opportunity to play this week."

Four-try hero Chris Ashton is certain Corbisiero has a bright international future, with his post-match initiation song performed as comfortably as his Test debut.

A long-standing ritual in the England set-up, Corbisiero decided to rap his number, receiving critical acclaim from the Northampton Saints wing as well as the rest of the squad.

"I've heard he's quite the rapper and he made up his own rap," revealed Ashton.

"It was impressive, he got a lot of Powerade and stuff thrown over him but he carried on doing it, so I was impressed.

"He might bring out an album you know, the next 50 Cent or something."

Sky Sports