|Weight||116kg (18st 3lb)|
ProfileA first England call on the eve of the Italy match in mid February completed a spectacular rise to Test level for Alex Corbisiero, who made a significant contribution to the 59-13 win at Twickenham. He had trained with the squad for two days earlier in the week as an injury replacement for Tim Payne but was then enlisted for the starting line up at loose head prop after Andrew Sheriden withdrew because of a sore back.
Alex again stepped in for Sheridan, this time as a highly effective 23rd minute replacement for him in the 17-9 victory over France at Twickenham and in the starting line up in the final matches of the 2011 RBS 6 Nations Championship against Scotland and Ireland.
An appearance off the bench in the Guinness Premiership final for London Irish against Leicester Tigers in May 2009 had completed a highly successful debut season for Alex. He played in 20 Premiership matches, including six starts but missed the opportunity to make his England Saxons’ debut when a knee injury prevented him from going to the Churchill Cup in Denver, Colorado. His initial appearances for the side were in the 2010 tournament.
Alex’s impressive physique casts him in the mould of a contemporary prop and he was introduced to the game at the age of five by his American father. Before joining the Irish in August 2005, he played for KCS Old Boys, London Scottish, Cobham and London Welsh. He initially appeared for Surrey Schools and after graduating to England Under 18s, figured in the World Championship for the Under 19s in 2007 and represented the USA at the same level.
Excellent form prompted his selection at tight-head for the 2008 Under 20s’ Six Nations when he started every match in a Grand Slam season. His first game was against Italy in Genoa, a highly appropriate debut because of his Italian-American background, having been born in New York City. He crashed over the first of his two tries in the tournament that year.
His grandfather Riccardo left Naples for America in the 1950s to run a restaurant in New York and Alex said: “Scoring against Italy is something I wanted to do because it is part of my heritage. I made sure that I swapped my shirt afterwards so I could have an Italian one for my grandfather.”
Alex, who has been studying at the London School of Economics, has also worn the green and white of Nottingham as well the emerald jersey of the Irish. He had a spell on loan with the Meadow Lane-based club in 2007-08. By the end of February 2011, four months after signing a new two year contract, he had played in 42 Premiership games, including 26 off the bench, and scored four tries.