Tuesday 21 November 2017

Corbisiero set for Lions Test bow

Alex Corbisiero is 'thrilled' to make his Lions Test debut
Alex Corbisiero is 'thrilled' to make his Lions Test debut

England prop Alex Corbisiero will complete an unlikely journey from South America to Suncorp Stadium on Saturday when he makes his Test debut for the British and Irish Lions.

The Northampton-bound forward has edged out his England colleague Mako Vunipola and clinched a starting place against Australia.

"I just wanted to make the most of the opportunities I was given, try to put my hand up and let the coaches make the decision. I am absolutely thrilled to be involved this weekend," he said.

"I have just tried to focus on my own game, making sure my set-piece has been consistent and tried to be accurate and efficient around the park in everything I do.

"Every time I had some game-time (in Australia), I tried to make an impact and show what I was able to do. I am very glad the coaches have given me the nod.

"There have definitely been some dark times this season when you are sitting there and you are frustrated. But looking back now, there was light at the end of the tunnel and I made sure I was patient.

"Like I've said before, I am just looking forward, and anyone who put question marks over my career I am trying every week to try to prove them wrong, show them what I am capable of and that I've got a long future in this game."

It comes just a fortnight after 24-year-old Corbisiero was summoned from England's Argentina tour as front-row cover following injuries suffered by Cian Healy and Gethin Jenkins.

Head coach Warren Gatland's line-up contains eight Lions Test debutants - Corbisiero, Tom Youngs, skipper Sam Warburton, Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, George North and Jonathan Sexton - although only three of those are up-front.

And there is a hard edge of experience elsewhere, provided by the likes of Irish pair Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell and Welsh tight-five forwards Adam Jones and Alun-Wyn Jones.

Press Association

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